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Tag Archive | "MDARD"

EEE found in Barry County horse


The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced the state’s first reported case in 2015 of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a Barry County horse.The testing was done by the private practitioner who sent the blood sample directly to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa.

MDARD was notified on September 4 that a Barry County horse had a positive blood test suggesting EEE exposure, and the horse had already been euthanized. This horse had not been vaccinated for EEE.

“EEE and other mosquito-borne illnesses are a huge concern for our equine community,” said Dr. James Averill, MDARD’s State Veterinarian. “Horse owners in Michigan should be aware of the risk and take extra measures to protect their animals.”

Cases of EEE in horses are a sign that people should take steps to guard themselves against mosquitoes by applying repellent, and wearing protective clothing.

For 2015, MDARD is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health on a surveillance program for mosquito-borne viruses in animals. Veterinarians working with horses showing neurological signs are encouraged to contact MDARD at 517-284-5767 for information on assistance with diagnostic testing.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a serious zoonotic viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus mainly causes disease in horses but can also cause serious illness in poultry, people, and other animals such as deer and even dogs. The disease is not spread through horse-to-horse or horse-to-human contact. In horses, EEE can cause severe swelling of the brain, stumbling, depression and sometimes blindness. There is an effective vaccine for horses and horse owners should work with their veterinarian to determine if their horse needs to be vaccinated.

Mosquito management is vital in the prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses that cause illness in both humans and in horses. People should take steps to guard their animals against mosquitoes by eliminating standing water and bringing horses and pets indoors from early evening until after sunrise when mosquitoes are out in full force.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a reportable disease in both humans and animals. If there is a suspected case in humans, physicians are encouraged to contact their local health department. If you suspect an animal may have EEE, you should report it to MDARD at 800-292-3939, or for after-hours emergencies, 517-373-0440.

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Human cases of West Nile Virus reported


Michigan health officials have identified the state’s first confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2015 in Macomb, Monroe, and Ottawa counties, and are reminding people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

“We have clear evidence that West Nile virus is present in the state again this summer,” says Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Even late in the season, remembering to take a few minutes to protect ourselves and our loved ones from mosquito bites when outside can make a big difference.”

Statewide, 57 birds have tested positive for WNV so far this season, and 11 WNV positive mosquito pools have been detected form Bay, Kent, Oakland, Saginaw, and Wayne counties. Infected birds and mosquitoes can provide an early warning of WNV activity in a community. For the most current information on mosquito-borne virus activity in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.

Michigan residents are encouraged to take the following steps to avoid WNV:

  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.

Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours between dusk and dawn. Use repellent and protective clothing, or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Choose a repellent concentration rated for the time you will spend outdoors. When applying repellent to children, apply it to your own hands and rub them on the child. Avoid the eyes and mouth and do not apply to children’s hands because they sometimes put their hands in their mouths. Do not apply repellents to infants under 6 months of age and instead place nets over strollers and baby carriers.

Most people bitten by a WNV infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever. About one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.

Symptoms of WNV include: encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain linings) include stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis.

People 50 and older are more susceptible to severe WNV disease symptoms. Physicians are urged to test patients for WNV if they present with fever and signs of meningitis or encephalitis, or sudden painless paralysis in the absence of stroke in the summer months.  For more information and surveillance activity about WNV, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, people can stay healthy by using simple, effective strategies to protect themselves and their families by reading and following all repellant label directions. MDARD also urges residents to consider using biological controls for small lakes and ponds you own, such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which is available at many stores.

There is an effective vaccine for horses and MDARD reminds horse owners to work with their local veterinarian to determine appropriate vaccination status. Because dawn and dusk are worst time for mosquitoes, it is also recommended that horses be kept inside at those times, and it’s important to remove any stagnant water from the premises.

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Consumer Advisory: Serrano peppers May be contaminated with Salmonella

This photo shows unripe serrano peppers. They can be varying shades of green, red, orange or brown upon maturity.

This photo shows unripe serrano peppers. They can be varying shades of green, red, orange or brown upon maturity.

If you bought serrano peppers from Meijer last week, you will want to return them.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a consumer advisory on Wednesday, October 22, for serrano peppers supplied by Bailey Farms Inc. of Oxford, North Carolina and distributed by Meijer stores in Michigan because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported to date.

These serrano peppers were sold in Meijer stores from October 14 to October 19, 2014. Serrano pepper was shipped on Bailey Farms labeled boxes with a 3×4 barcode label on the outside of the box containing the lot code 33714 and 1460410.

A random sample was taken by MDARD on Oct 13, 2014; and the sample tested by MDARD’s Lab Division confirmed it positive for Salmonella on October 18.

Consumers who have purchased serrano peppers during said dates are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditic and arthritis.

Consumers who have recently eaten raw serrano peppers or foods containing raw serrano peppers and are experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider. All Salmonella infections should be reported to state or local health authorities.



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Consumer Advisory 


Certain antifreeze/coolant brands may damage your vehicles

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order for antifreeze/coolant manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed prior to September 11, 2014, by the following Detroit, Michigan, companies after finding the products may cause damage to vehicle engines:

  • State Petroleum 1 Inc.
  • Petro-Zone and Dual-Temp, LLC
  • Omni PPG, Inc.

These products are sold under the Petro Zone Smart, Petro Zone and Ice Shield XXX brands.

As part of a several-month investigation, MDARD discovered the antifreeze/coolants being sold by these companies do not meet the labeled freeze points stated on the labels.

“When products don’t meet their labeled freeze points, they can cause lasting damage to vehicles. So, it’s vital consumers and businesses stop using or selling these products immediately,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “This company is selling a sub-standard product. MDARD’s Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order not only ensures that Michigan’s consumers and businesses are getting what they pay for, but helps prevent long-term damage to their vehicles.”

The Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or use of these antifreeze/coolants manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by these companies.

These products should:

  • No longer be used.
  • Immediately be removed from store shelves or other product displays.
  • No longer be offered for sale.

The products may be properly disposed of in accordance with local ordinances, taken to a facility that recycles antifreeze/coolant, or consumers may contact the company directly.

Complaints can be made to:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Consumer Protection Section

940 Venture Lane

Williamston, MI 48895

Toll-free: 800-632-3835

Fax: 517-655-8303


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Rabies still a concern in Michigan


The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill urges Michiganders to adopt practices that help protect their families, pets, and livestock from rabies, one of the deadliest diseases known to man. According to the World Health Organization, rabies is responsible for the deaths of 55,000 people worldwide.
All mammals are susceptible to rabies.  Rabies virus is usually transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal into an open wound or onto mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.

“Michigan has rabies laws and programs that help protect citizens. Animal bites are reportable, and the State of Michigan requires dogs and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies,” said Averill.
Protect dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, and select livestock by keeping them vaccinated against rabies. If a person suspects their pet or livestock may have had contact with a potentially rabid animal, they should immediately contact their local animal control agency and veterinarian.
“You cannot always know if an animal has rabies, but if your pet or livestock behave aggressively and this is not normal behavior, you should consider rabies as a possible cause, and take appropriate precautions,” Averill said. “If a person is bitten by an animal, they should immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention, and report the bite to the local health department.”

Signs of rabies in animals can include lethargy, depression, aggression, seizures, a change in behavior, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, difficulty walking, and eventual death. Because many illnesses can cause these signs, without the laboratory tests rabies cannot be diagnosed.  It is not possible to test live animals for rabies. In order to determine if an animal has the disease, a necropsy must be done and the brain tissue must be examined for the presence of characteristic lesions.
To date, for 2013, there have been 39 cases of rabid Michigan bats in the various counties. See map for statistics.
For more information, please visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Rabies_Map_2013_407912_7.pdf 

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Keeping pets safe this summer

With summer temperatures already breaking well-over 80 degrees, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development’s (MDARD) Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Nancy Frank offers a few tips to keep your furry, four-legged family members healthy and happy this summer.  “Our cats, dogs and other companion animals can be just as uncomfortable in the heat and humidity as we are and can quickly become dangerously overheated,” said Frank. “Pets can suffer from heat stroke, dehydration, and even sunburn. So it’s critical you use sound, common sense practices like not leaving your pet in a car. Even if you park it in the shade and have the windows partially open, it only takes a few minutes for temperatures inside the car to reach deadly levels.” While all dogs and cats are at risk, older or very young pets, overweight pets, those with heavy coats, and short-nosed dogs may need extra care. Owners need to limit their exercise to early morning and evening on hot and humid days as asphalt becomes very hot, keep the water bowl refreshed, and be sure a cool environment is always nearby. If your pet is panting excessively or has difficulty breathing, drools excessively or un-characteristically, has difficulty walking, appears weak or in a stupor, immediately place your pet in the shade or air conditioning and apply cool—not cold—water to reduce the animal’s core body temperature. Get help from a licensed veterinarian as soon as possible.  The following are some other simple summer pet safety tips: *Beware of toxic agents such as plant food, insecticides, fertilizer, coolants, citronella candles, oil products, and insect coils that may be around the home and yard. *The heat, loud noise, and confusion of crowded summer events can stress pets and isn’t an enjoyable experience for them. Even unlit fireworks can be an issue as many contain toxic compounds like potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, and arsenic. *Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar or identification such as a tag or microchip. *Maintain recommended heartworm medication since the potentially deadly heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.

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