Boater Safety Course

    Old Bethpage Rifle & Pistol Club, in West Babylon, is willing to conduct one or more Boater’s Safety Courses, which will qualify the participant for his/her Boater Safety Certificate, which is now required to operate power boats, in the waters of Nassau or Suffolk Counties.
    The cost will be:
        1) free, if you’re still under 18, on the course's completion date or
        2) $10, if you’re 18 or older, before the time of the course’s end date.
    Students must be at least 10 years old, by the start date of the course, to attend.
    All costs are inclusive of all materials and the Certificate of Completion. Class date(s) are to be determined, based on the interest of students. A minimum of ten (10) students is required, to hold a course session.
    If you are interested in attending, please contact Hank Foglino, at foglinh@sunysuffolk.edu.

Deer hunters - there's a new tick threat

Deadly New Deer Tick Virus Emerges in New York
Daniel Xu

Blacklegged ticks can carry a host of diseases and, now, a new virus is taking root, in New York State.

In many parts of the country, blacklegged ticks or deer ticks, have a fearsome reputation, for spreading Lyme Disease. Commonly transmitted, to humans, tick-borne diseases are reported, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to be on the rise. Now, scientists believe they have discovered a new threat, from the blacklegged ticks, called the Lineage II Powassan virus.

In a recently published paper, in the Journal Parasites and Vectors, researchers suggest that the Powassan virus is responsible for a number of human infections, throughout the Hudson Valley, in New York State. According to the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, the virus can cause nervous system disruption, encephalitis and meningitis, in humans. There is a 10 to 15 percent fatality rate, in documented cases and some survivors are left with permanent neurological damage.

“We’ve seen a rise, in this rare but serious illness, in parts of New York State, which are hot spots for Lyme disease,” said Rick Ostfeld, one of the paper’s authors. “We suspected it was tied to an increase in blacklegged ticks, carrying deer tick virus, particularly on the East side of the Hudson River.”

Ostfeld and his team surveyed more than 13,000 individual ticks, from a variety of hosts, over a period of five years. Along with deer, the blacklegged tick can also be found on small critters, such as raccoons, foxes, birds, even domestic animals. According to the CDC, ticks will often prefer different hosts at each stage of their life and risk of human infection is highest during the creature’s nymph stage. Ticks primarily find hosts by waiting in well-traveled areas with their first pair of legs outstretched. When a suitable host passes by, the tick climbs aboard, then attaches itself to the unwary victim.

The tick will begin feeding, as quickly as 10 minutes’ time. If the tick carries the illness, Lyme disease can be transmittedm within a few hours or up to two days. Oftentimes, this gives victims a “grace period,” to remove the tick and, possibly, avoid being infected. The American Lyme Disease Foundation advises that if a tick has become attached but not yet engorged with blood, it is likely that it has not yet transmitted Lyme disease. Unfortunately, the Powassan virus is not as patient. Unlike many of the common illnesses, transmitted by ticks, the virus transmission can take as little as 15 minutes.

“There is no vaccine or specific antiviral therapy,” said Ostfield. “The best strategy remains prevention.”

While the Powassan virus is rare, compared to Lyme disease, Ostfeld remains worried that the virus will spread, beyond the state.

“The infection prevalence, of about 1 percent to 6 percent, among these ticks, is low, compared with Lyme disease, which often is found in 30 percent to 50 percent of ticks but it’s still alarmingly high, giving you a one in 20 chance that the tick biting you might be transmitting a deadly virus,” Ostfeld told MedPage Today.

So far, the Hudson River seems to provide a natural barrier, preventing the virus from traveling West but Ostfeld says, historically, deer ticks proved able to spread, despite such obstacles.

“Therefore, we might expect Powassan to move across the Hudson, into western New York and, potentially, elsewhere, in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, like the other tick-borne diseases,” Ostfeld said.

Research, on the virus, is ongoing. A different version of the Powassan virus was first identified, in 1958 but relatively little is known about the virus, until now.

Update: Other states, in the region, have recorded cases of Powassan virus-related disease, in recent years. According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), common symptoms involve fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties and memory loss. 

More information, on identifying symptoms and possible risk of infection, can be found, on the MDH’s site, at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/powassan/basics.html.

Also, visit the CDC’s website, at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/arbor/arbocase/pow_map.pdf, for more info.

This information is presented, as a public service announcement, by the Suffolk Alliance of Sportsmen, Inc.

National Hunting & Fishing Day Expo

Folks:
   This year will be the 42nd year, in which SASI is sponsoring the National Hunting and Fishing Day Expo, for NYS Regions 1 and 2. This event is open to the general public. There are no admission, parking or other charges, for the general public to attend this event.
   As in the last 15+ years, we will be holding it at the NYS DEC's Co-op Property, in Ridge.
   If you, your club(s) or other organization(s) would like to participate, we are currently accepting applications, for vendors and exhibitors. If you would like to present yourself or your organization(s), in a family-oriented environment, this is the place.
   If you or your organization were a SASI member, on the day BEFORE this notice was posted (7/9/13), there is no charge for your space. You may bring your own table(s), chair(s) and/or overhead cover or rent table(s) and chairs, from SASI.
  The vendor's/exhibitor's application, with fee schedule and rules, is attached, as a PDF. I hope to see you there, as a vendor/exhibitor or public attendee.
Gary

Vendor's & exhibitor's forms, complete.pdf (716.07 kb)

Boater Safety Course

              The New York State Safe Boating Course will be offered at the Old Bethpage Rifle and Pistol Club, 70 Kean Street, West Babylon, on Saturday July 13th, 2013, at 9am. This course or another NASBLA approved course, will be required, to operate a power driven vessel, as of November, 2013, in Suffolk County. NY State is almost certain to adopt the same requirement.  Your family members are invited and children who have reached 10 years of age can be certified if they pass the exam. The course is free to anyone under 18 and there is a $10 fee, for shipping and handling, for adults. The calss is limited to 20 students and Old Bethpage members will have first choice in obtaining a billet for the course. Let me know if you plan to attend AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  I need two weeks, to order the course material. If there is enough of a demand, the course will be repeated, at a later date.
Please contact the instructor for the course at the phone number and E-mail address below.
Hank Foglino
631-265-7811