From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1994:
The European Union has granted Zimbabwe $3.4 million to fight hoof-and-
mouth disease––on condition that farmers be charged for veterinary care now given free.
Anthrax, the worst drought on record, and bovine tuberculosis transmitted by
dairy cattle have together cut the Cape Buffalo population of Kruger National Park in South
Africa from 30,000 to 14,000 in just two years.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is probing a cluster of genetic defects in rap-
tors, blackbirds, and robins from the Rogue Valley region of Oregon, reported by Dave
Siddon of the Wildlife Images rehabilitation center. Similar defects found in birds around the
Great Lakes have been traced to organochlorines, a chemical family which includes dioxin,
PCBs, and the pesticide DDT, which devastated raptors until a U.S. ban took effect in 1973.
Reported cases of Lyme disease dropped 15% in 1993, from 9,677 in 1992 to
8,185, including drops of 41% in New York and 27% in Connecticut, the national leaders
with 2,761 and 1,350 cases, respectively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention––but the CDCP warns that the apparent decline of Lyme could mean only that doc-
tors are reporting or diagnosing it less often.
Yale University on August 22 suspended research on the rare sabia hantavirus,
at request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after an unidentified researcher
accidentally infected himself while cleaning up a laboratory spill. Transmitted by rodents in
tropical regions, sabia can cause death from severe internal bleeding; but because the infec-
tion was quickly detected, the researcher lived. Although also a hantavirus, sabia is not
closely related to the hantavirus that has killed about 70 people over the past year in the U.S.,
mostly residents of the southwest.
Rodent-carried leptospirosis and homorrhagic fever with renal syndrome have
quadrupled this year in the Tula region of Russia. According to ITAR-TASS correspondent
Valery Rudenko, “Local epidemiologists believe the main center of infection is the Kireyevo-
based veterinary plant which processes animals’ cadavers. It is from here that infected mice
and rats invaded the surroundings.”