November 13 , 2006
Volume IV, No. 13
ISVMA Makes End-of-Year Membership Push
In May 2004, the ISVMA Board of Directors established a goal of serving 2000 members by July 1, 2007. We’ve made significant progress toward that goal and we need your help to achieve it! We are currently 21 members short of our goal and would like you to sponsor a colleague for membership.
The goal of 2000 members isn’t an arbitrary number nor is it about money. When we reach 2000 members we will represent 70% of the state’s licensed and practicing veterinarians. Compared to other Midwestern states (who represent up to 95% of their eligible veterinarians), Illinois will need to continue working toward deeper membership saturation. Our ability to influence state legislation and agency rules and regulations is directly related to the strength of our organization. Two years ago, when we represented less than 50% of the State’s veterinarians, we didn’t have a very strong voice. Our strength and influence is growing as our membership expands – and it is not a coincidence!
Here's how you can help:
— Email, fax or hand deliver a copy of the ISVMA membership application form to a colleague, staff or business partner. Be sure to remind them to print your name on the "Who introduced you to ISVMA" sponsor line!
— Download and print or fill out the membership application form (be sure to name your sponsor).
— Feel free to pass along an overview of member benefits.
— Need help recruiting or have questions? Please contact your friendly member relations team at (217) 523-8387 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
Why should you recruit a new member for ISVMA? You are the greatest testimony to the benefit of an ISVMA membership, and by sharing the value with your colleagues you will...
— Enhance the power of the veterinary medical profession in Illinois
— The more members we represent the stronger our voice at the Illinois State Capitol and the state regulatory agencies;
— Strengthen ISVMA – as our membership grows the value of membership will also grow;
— Expand your network of veterinary professionals;
— Earn statewide recognition as a new member sponsor.
Cook County To Consider Rabies Vaccination Tag Price Increase
The Cook County Board of Commissioners is considering an increase in the price of rabies vaccination tags. A hearing on the proposal will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 10:00 a.m.
The Cook County proposal would increase the cost of a one-year tag from $6 to $10 and the cost of a three-year tag from $18 to $30.
If you wish to comment on the proposed change you may obtain contact information for your Cook County Commissioner at http://www.co.cook.il.us/commissioners.htm.
Human Deaths from Animal Diseases on the Rise
LiveScience Staff Writer
An estimated 50 million people caught diseases from animals such as dogs, cattle, chickens and mosquitoes between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study. Some 78,000 of them died.
The finding reveals the global urgency for doctors to stay vigilant when it comes to zoonotic illnesses—those transmitted by non-human animals.
By reviewing past studies, virologist Jonathan Heeney of the Biomedical Primate Research Center in The Netherlands found the diseases responsible for the majority of zoonotic illnesses seem to be increasing.
Zoonotic killers between 2000 and 2005 included:
— Rabies (range of host animals such as dogs, cats and horses): killed an estimated 30,000 people.
— Dengue Virus (spread by mosquitoes): affected 50 million people and killed around 25,000 .
— Japanese Encephalitis Virus (spread by mosquitoes): up to 15,000 estimated deaths.
— Lassa Fever (spread by a rodent known as the "multimammate rat”): affected up to 300,000 people and killed about 5,000.
What’s worrisome is there are no effective vaccines for some of the most common zoonotic viruses. Heeney said doctors and veterinarians need to work together to tackle this increasing global threat.
Most recently, the bird flu, or H5N1, has garnered public attention for its potential not only to spread from chickens and other birds to humans, but also for the virus to mutate in a way that allows it to spread between humans. During the study period, bird flu killed just over half of the 145 people infected with the virus.
“This comes on the heels of other major zoonotic viral epidemics in the last decade,” Heeney noted in the November issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine. These include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West-Nile virus, Ebola virus and monkeypox.
An estimated 700,000 to 2.7 million people — 75 percent of them African children— die of malaria each year. However, malaria doesn’t count as a zoonotic disease, because the virus depends on a human host for part of its life cycle.
There has been a global resurgence of Dengue virus, which is transmitted between monkeys in the jungle by the mosquitoes that feed on them. This same cycle could move into urban areas, where the mosquitoes could infect humans. Heeney attributes the rise to growth around large cities, increased transportation and failing public control measures.
Animal viruses like these have the potential to devastate humans. Over time, viruses can develop the needed “machinery” for efficient transmission not only from the animal host to humans, but from human to human. When this happens, Heeney said, zoonotic illnesses can become serious human killers with potential to reach epidemic proportions.
While vaccines have eradicated devastating human diseases, such as smallpox, other related viruses, such as monkeypox, could hit people whose smallpox vaccines have expired.
This animal-human connection can go both ways. For instance, a deadly parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which causes a food-borne disease in humans, has caused lethal brain damage in California sea otters. Scientists have also reported that a combination of toxic chemicals and human herpes virus causes cancer in California sea lions.
Heeney stressed the importance of doctors in all walks of medicine working together.
"They are in the best position to identify trends and patterns, such as increases in the number of deaths of wild or domestic animals," Heeney said. "Awareness and surveillance of ecosystems will play a key role in identifying and controlling new, emerging and re-emerging viral zoonotics."
Original story at: http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/061108_zoonotic_diseases.html
The above story is courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
AAFP Vaccine Advisory Panel Report Available
The American Association of Feline Practitioners has made available a report to aid practitioners in making decisions about the appropriate care of patients with respect to currently available vaccines.
For more information and to obtain a copy of the report go to http://www.aafponline.org/resources/practice_guidelines.htm.
About the Photo in This Issue...
One of the continent’s most inconspicuous songbirds, the Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) is the only treecreeper in North America. The combination of its brown-and-white coloration, very small size, and tree-creeping behavior easily distinguish this species from all other North American birds.
The Brown Creeper's cryptic coloration and high-pitched vocalizations make it difficult to detect, yet its distribution is widespread in coniferous and coniferous-deciduous forests throughout North America from Alaska and Canada south to northern Nicaragua. In its endless pursuit of bark-dwelling invertebrates, it begins at the base of a tree trunk, climbs upward, sometimes spiraling around the trunk until it nears the top, then flies to the base of a nearby tree to begin the process again. This creeper uses its slender, decurved bill to glean invertebrates—mainly insects, spiders, and pseudoscorpions—from furrows in the bark. It was not until 1879 that naturalists discovered its unique habit of building its hammock-like nest behind a loosened flap of bark on a dead or dying tree.
Although the Brown Creeper is found in a variety of forest habitats, it favors closed-canopy forests with an abundance of large dead or dying trees for nesting and large live trees for foraging. It is most abundant in mature and old-growth forests in summer but uses a wider variety of wooded habitats (deciduous forests, suburbs, parks, and orchards) in winter. In recent decades, numbers in New England have increased, possibly as a result of reforestation, the widespread mortality of trees due to gypsy-moth (Lymantria dispar) invasion, and mortality of American elms (Ulmus americana) due to Dutch elm disease. Apparent expansion of breeding range in mid-Atlantic states, Midwest, and California, but local extirpations due to habitat loss in New York, Michigan, and lower Colorado River Valley. This creeper is often considered a year-round resident throughout its breeding range, but northern and high-altitude populations migrate. It is territorial during the breeding season, but in winter, often joins mixed-species foraging flocks and roosts communally with other Brown Creepers.
Degradation of habitat via the harvesting of large, live trees, salvage-logging practices that remove dead or dying trees, and the increasing fragmentation of forests, particularly in western North America, are the greatest known threats to current populations. Loss of large trees to exotic insects and diseases and the eventual loss of large snags in eastern forests could also affect creepers negatively.
I photographed this Brown Creeper at Lincoln Memorial Gardens in Springfield, IL on November 12, 2006.
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