New York soldier returning from deployment diagnosed with RABIES; Massachusetts 2-year-old attacked by COYOTE; California neighborhood scene of COYOTE attack on two Dogs; US Fish & Wildlife to reopen public comment period on WOLVES in several states; an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from MA; WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CT, MI, & WI; and RABIES reports from ME, MA, NM, NC, TX, WV, & WI. CDC zoonotic disease summary for week ending August 6, 2011. Follow-Up Report: New Jersey police trap RACCOON they believe attacked two people and a dog last Sunday.

10th Mountain Division patch

New York 08/24/11 wsj.com: Officials at Fort Drum say they are treating a soldier believed to have contracted rabies during an overseas deployment. Officials at the northern New York Army post say the unidentified 10th Mountain Division soldier was diagnosed Friday. People who have been in close contact with him are being notified to assess whether or not post-exposure rabies vaccination is required. Fort Drum officials would not say where the soldier was deployed or when he contracted rabies. They say he didn’t contract rabies in the state of New York.

Massachusetts 08/24/11 necn.com: A 2-year-old girl walking beside her grandmother before noon yesterday was attacked from behind by a coyote. A bite on the back of her head required stitches, and she will very likely have to receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) rabies shots as well, which are never a pleasant experience. According to her aunt, the child was released from the hospital and is recovering at home. The incident took place on Clarendon Street in South Weymouth, Massachusetts.  Elle Ramponi, who witnessed the attack from her home and rushed out to help, said the coyote came out of nowhere.  Animal control officers that have been searching for the animal to determine if it’s rabid said there are five coyote packs living in nearby woods. A construction project in the area is moving the coyotes around.

California 08/25/11 sanclementetimes.com: by Stacie N. Galang – A coyote attack on two dogs in a Talega neighborhood has put residents on edge. Pat Simon, who lives on Corte el Brazo, said two of her neighbor’s dogs were attacked last week when they were let out of the house and into a gated yard last week. One dog died as a result of the injuries and another was severely injured, she said. “My response was full panic,” said Simon who owns three dogs. Simon, who’s lived in her house for six years, said she believed their five-foot fences were high enough to keep wildlife out, but the coyote cleared the fence. She has gone house-to-house to let others know. Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game, said it’s important that people are aware of coyotes’ presence and to take precautions, particularly vigilant with small pets. “A coyote is a very cunning predator and it will do whatever it takes to feed,” he said. Hughan said coyotes rarely attack humans and no confrontations have been reported this year.

Wisconsin 08/25/11 jsonline.com: by Paul A. Smith – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it will reopen the public comment period on its proposal to remove the gray wolf from protections of the federal Endangered Species Act in Wisconsin and surrounding states. The original comment period ended July 5. But the Service said it “received significant comments from states and stakeholders concerning North American wolf taxonomy” and wanted to allow the public a chance to review a new paper on wolf taxonomy prepared by federal biologists. The paper is not yet available, but will be posted in the coming days, according to Vanessa Kauffman of the USFWS.

Gray Wolf

The Service had come under sharp criticism for its decision to introduce a second wolf species to its delisting rule in the western Great Lakes. In addition to Canus lupus (the gray wolf) the rule recognized Canus lycaon (the eastern wolf). Since the species are physically indistinguishable and Wisconsin has always treated its wolves as one population, the delisting rule was “set up to fail,” said Bill Horn of the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance. “We’re hopeful that by reopening the comment period the Service has recognized the errors of its ways and this will lead to a successful delisting,” Horn said.

Two previous delistings were overturned by lawsuits. Many who support delisting have grown suspect of the Service’s ability to successfully remove the wolf from protections of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Wisconsin wolf population has exceeded all recovery goals and was estimated at over 800 individuals in over 200 packs last winter, a modern-era record. “There is wide agreement that the wolf needs to be delisted and returned to state management,” said George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. “We’re hopeful this latest effort helps clarify the delisting and doesn’t further muddy the waters.”

The comment period will run from Friday through Sept. 26. Written comments may be submitted on the federal website or by mail. The Federal eRulemaking Portal is http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029].

Eastern Wolf

Send comments by mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

The notice reopening the comment period will publish in the Federal Register on August 26, 2011. Comments must be received within 30 days, on or before September 26, 2011. The Service will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov.  More information is available online at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/.

Massachusetts 08/24/11 mass.gov: News Release – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in mosquitoes in the towns of Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Carver, Middleborough, and Rockland in Plymouth County and in Freetown in Bristol County. Infected mosquitoes of the kind that bite mammals, including humans, were found in Carver and Bridgewater this week and had already been found Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Raynham. Results over the last few weeks indicate that the risk that people may become infected with EEE is high in Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Raynham and Easton and is generally increasing in southeastern Massachusetts.  “Finding mammal-biting mosquitoes infected with EEE is of great concern to us”, said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. “Earlier in the season, all of our infected mosquitoes were the bird-biting kind, which are less likely to spread disease to people.” In 2010, there was one case of EEE in a Massachusetts resident and one case in a Rhode Island resident who was probably exposed to the virus in Massachusetts.

Connecticut 08/25/11 ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in three new towns on August 11 – 16, 2011 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in East Haven, Groton and Westbrook by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. In addition, WNV-positive mosquitoes continue to be trapped in testing sites previously identified in southwestern Connecticut.

Macomb County

Michigan 08/25/11 myfoxdetroit.com: by Amy Lange – A 48-year-old Macomb County man who was hospitalized earlier this month is the first suspected death from West Nile. Last year, eleven cases were reported in Macomb County with three deaths. Usually the elderly, the very young and those with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable.

Dane County

Wisconsin 08/24/11 wisconsin.gov: News Release – State and county health officials announce that two birds have tested positive for West Nile virus, one in Dane County and the other in Waupaca County. These are the first animals to test positive for the virus in Wisconsin this year. Although very few mosquitoes actually carry West Nile virus, infected birds serve as an early warning by indicating the virus is present in the area and people should be more vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites.

Waupaca County

Statewide surveillance activities for West Nile virus began on May 1st. People who find a dead bird in their yard or who have a question about a dead bird should call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610. Horse owners should contact their veterinarian to get their horse vaccinated or if they suspect their horse is ill with West Nile virus infection. The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. In 2002, the state documented its first human infections, with 52 human cases. In 2010, there were two human cases of West Nile virus. For more information on West Nile virus: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/westNilevirus/.

Maine 08/24/11 mpbn.net: For the ninth year in a row, state animal health officials plan to distribute bait laced with rabies vaccine in northeastern Maine to control the spread of raccoon rabies. Working with the Maine Center for Disease Control, the Maine Department of Agriculture plans to put out 125,000 doses of the vaccine-laced bait. The baits are coated with fishmeal and distributed in one-inch cubes or two-inch plastic sachets. The bait will be distributed over a 900-square mile area by air and by ground vehicles, officials say. The targeted area is northeast Aroostook County, including Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Ashland and Mapleton. People and pets can’t get rabies from contact with the baits, but officials are urging those who might come across them to leave them undisturbed. Officials say 40 cases of animal rabies have been diagnosed so far this year in 11 out of Maine’s 16 counties. None of the cases have been found in Aroostook County, where three cases turned up last year.

Massachusetts 08/24/11 boston.com: by Deborah Kotz – The Boston Public Health Commission announced this afternoon that a bat found yesterday on a sidewalk in front of 244 Clarendon St. in the Back Bay has tested positive for rabies and could pose a danger to anyone who had direct contact with it. The health officials advised anyone who touched, handled or was bitten by the bat to contact their health care provider. This evening, Boston health officials will post fliers at churches and businesses along Clarendon between Commonwealth Avenue and Newbury Street advising anyone who had contact with the bat to call the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611.

New Mexico 08/24/11 kob.com: by Joe Bartels – State health officials are warning people in Chaves County to keep an eye on their pets after a skunk tested positive for rabies. Roswell animal control workers went door to door this afternoon alerting people in the 400 block of East Mathews. Officials say a skunk was killed on Saturday in that area after it came after a man. “We’re asking people that are out taking daily walks and stuff like that if they come across a fox, a skunk, a bat that they use caution and that they call their local animal shelter and we’ll get out there and take care of the problem,” said Joseph Pacheco of Roswell Animal Services. Animal workers are making sure dogs in that neighborhood were not exposed to rabies. This is the first case of rabies in Chaves County this year.

North Carolina 08/24/11 wral.com: Cumberland County Animal Control officers said two raccoons picked up Tuesday have tested positive for rabies. Before they knew the raccoon they reported was dangerous, the Koonce family treated it like a pet at their home on Rollinghill Road off of Colgate Drive in the Briarwood Hills subdivision. “It acted like somebody’s pet. It would follow you, would play with you,” Bill Koonce said. The family even made a bed for the animal in the garage. The lack of fear the raccoon showed humans worried Stacey Koonce, so she contacted animal control to pick it up. She said there were a string of calls made before animal control picked up the raccoon the next morning. The animal never attacked the family, but each must undergo shots in case they were infected. Stacey Koonce said she plans to use bleach to clean the family’s garage. “For a 24-hour pet, it is a lot of clean up,” she said. Animal control said there was a delay because officers did not realize the raccoon was thought to be rabid. The other raccoon was picked up from Oakcrest Drive off of Pamalee Drive in the Lake Crest subdivision. Cumberland County said there have been 14 cases of rabies in the county this year. Anyone who sees a possibly rabid animal is asked to notify Cumberland County Animal Services by calling 910-321-6852 Monday through Friday or the sheriff’s office at 919-323-1500 after hours and on weekends and holidays.

Texas 08/24/11 mysanantonio.com: by Zeke MacCormack – A raccoon found dead on a Sisterdale resident’s lawn on Aug. 17 has become the fifth case of rabies reported in Kendall County this year. Chief Deputy Matt King said the homeowner turned in the dead raccoon at Boerne’s animal shelter, which transferred it to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District for testing. The tests came back positive. Anyone with concerns about an animal call the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office at 830-249-9721.

West Virginia 08/24/11 necn.com: A Morgantown landlord who was scratched and bitten when he captured a feral cat is being treated for exposure to rabies. The Monongalia County Health Department says it got word Tuesday afternoon that the cat from the Falling Run Road area had tested positive for rabies. Spokeswoman Holly Hildreth didn’t identify the man who captured it but said he’s being treated.

Wisconsin 08/24/11 weau.com: News Release – The Eau Claire City-County Health Department is looking for a dog that attacked a woman in the 1100 block of Brookline Avenue on Tuesday, August 23. The dog ran in the direction of Andover Avenue.  The dog is described as a large breed, dark in color. The health and rabies status of the dog needs to be determined. The owner of this dog, or anyone with information about this dog, is encouraged to call the Eau Claire Communications Center at 839-4972.

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending August 6, 2011:

Published Aug 12, 2011 / 60(31); 1058-1071

Anaplasmosis . . . 12 . . . Maryland, New York (10), Tennessee,

Babesiosis . . . 50 . . . New York (48), Pennsylvania (2),

Brucellosis . . . 2 . . . California, Missouri,

Ehrlichiosis . . . 23 . . . Arkansas (4), Georgia, Maryland, Missouri (3), New York (4), North Carolina (2), Oklahoma (4), Tennessee (3), Virginia,

Giardiasis . . . 236 . . . Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas (8), California (23), Colorado (19), Florida (30), Georgia (22), Hawaii, Idaho (4), Iowa (8), Maine (3), Maryland, Michigan (3), Missouri (16), Montana (2), Nebraska (11), Nevada, New York (38), Ohio (14), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (15), Vermont (2), Virginia, Washington (9), Wyoming,

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 2 . . . Missouri, Tennessee,    

Lyme Disease . . .  461 . . . California (3), Florida (6), Georgia (2), Idaho, Maryland(18), Nevada, New Jersey (57), New York (197), North Carolina, Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (148), Tennessee (2), Vermont (4),  Virginia (14), West Virginia (4),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . Oregon,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 14 . . . Maine, Michigan, New York (9), Ohio (2), Rhode Island,

Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2 . . . Georgia, North Carolina,

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 40 . . . Arkansas (10), Maryland (2), Missouri (4), New York, North Carolina (13), Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee (5), Virginia (2),

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Arkansas, Nebraska,

Follow-Up Report:

New Jersey 08/24/11 centraljersey.com: by Gene Robbins – (See August 24, 2011 post: New Jersey police look for Raccoon that attacked two people and a dog) Township health officials rushed a raccoon to Trenton for rabies testing Tuesday, hoping it might be the same animal that attacked two older residents minding their own business Sunday in their homes on Meadowbrook Drive. The animal had been caught in a trap owned by a resident in the area, said Dr. Glen Belnay, township health officer. ”We’re not certain it’s the same one,” he said. In most cases, the disease progresses fast, he said, and the animal will be ill, if not dead, within 48 hours or so of symptoms. A raccoon attacked and bit two residents and fought with a dog in the Country Club Estates development. Although the raccoon was not caught and could not be tested, it likely was rabid, health officials said Monday. Officials came to that conclusion because the raccoon was out during the day and was so aggressive. Two residents, a 67-year-old female and a 61-year-old man, were bitten in two separate, nearby incidents, Dr. Belnay said. (For complete article go to http://www.centraljersey.com/articles/2011/08/24/hillsborough_beacon/news/doc4e55667361745907480975.txt )

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