Rare TICK-borne POWASSAN VIRUS claims life of MAINE artist ~ RABIES reports from FLx3, NJx2, NCx2, OH, & VA.

tickhabitatMaine 12/24/13 Knox County: by Jackie Farwell – Marilyn Ruth Snow visited her local hospital on Nov. 9 with a tiny, stubborn tick embedded in her shoulder blade. Two days later, the active and healthy 73-year-old, a Rockland area watercolor artist better known as Lyn, would speak her last coherent words with her family. “After that she became delirious and she was in and out of consciousness,” said her daughter Susie Whittington. “Then she was gone.” Snow, of South Thomaston, died last Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The next day, test results confirmed the rare Powassan virus in her body, making Snow Maine’s first documented case of the often deadly tick-borne disease in nearly a decade. Nationally, just 50 cases of the Powassan virus have been reported over the past 10 years. Snow’s family wants others to be aware of the disease, a viral infection first recognized in the town of Powassan, Ontario, in 1958. The virus can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion and seizures and may also lead to brain swelling, a devastating complication that kills 10 percent of those who develop it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Snow was among the 10 percent. About half of those who survive the infection suffer permanent neurological symptoms such as memory problems, facial tics and blurred vision. There is no vaccine or treatment other than keeping patients comfortable and hydrated during hospitalization. – For complete article and photo see http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2013/12/24/rare-powassan-virus-spread-ticks-claims-life-rockl/1470237

(L to R) Woodchuck tick (ixodes cookei) and Deer tick (ixodes scapularis). Courtesy CDC

(L to R) Woodchuck tick (ixodes cookei) and Deer tick (ixodes scapularis). Courtesy CDC

Author’s Note: According to an article by Kay Lazar published in the 12/26/13 issue of The Boston Globe: “Powassan typically is spread by the woodchuck tick, but disease investigators are concerned that the more common deer tick may be the culprit in the Maine and Massachusetts cases, raising concerns because deer ticks are prevalent throughout the Northeast, already inflicting widespread misery as the major carrier of Lyme disease.” – See http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/12/26/severe-tick-disease-investigated-massachusetts-and-maine-patients/0PibkI9uYSuuYSiSs5wogN/story.html

Rabies:

Florida 12/21/13 Bay County: A raccoon killed in a neighborhood between the west ends of Venetian Way and Kristanna Drive in Panama City has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wjhg.com/news/headlines/Rabid-Raccoon-Killed-North-of-Venetian-Way-in-the-City-of-Panama-City-236876061.html

942697_645012738846086_1436755408_nFlorida 12/20/13 Palm Beach County: A Boca Raton woman who fought off two raccoons while walking her dogs on December 19th received 19 puncture wounds in the struggle, but her dogs remained unscathed. The incident occurred on 105th Avenue South. The raccoons were chased off by a nearby resident, but the woman is getting post-rabies exposure treatment as a precaution. – See http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12010.shtml

Florida 12/19/13 Martin County: A raccoon that bit an adult male on December 15th at a private ranch off Kanner Highway between Stuart and Indiantown has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/florida-raccoon-that-bit-man-in-martin-county-tests-positive-for-rabies-47834/

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsNew Jersey 12/23/13 Gloucester County: A cat found in Williamstown has tested positive for rabies and four individuals at a Collingswood residence are being treated for potential exposure to the virus. – See http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/12/23/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-camden-county/

New Jersey 12/20/13 Gloucester County: A raccoon that bit a dog near Centre City School in Mantua on December 11th, and a fox captured in Monroe Township on December 19th, have both tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2013/12/two_gloucester_county_animals_test_positive_for_rabies.html

Photo_TobiasMercer_WCNorth Carolina 12/20/13 Guilford County: A raccoon found on New Hanover Drive in Greensboro has tested positive for rabies. This is the 19th case of rabies confirmed in the county this year. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/article_252e8216-69cf-11e3-9a31-001a4bcf6878.html

dog_and_skunk312North Carolina 12/18/13 Davidson County: A skunk that repeatedly attacked a dog tied outside in its yard in Lexington on December 15th has tested positive for rabies. This is the eighth case of rabies reported in the county this year. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131218/NEWS/312189975/1074/NEWS?Title=Davidson-County-reports-8th-case-of-rabies

Cat-and-BatOhio 12/20/13 Columbiana County: A 12-month-old child and his siblings are receiving post-rabies exposure treatment following an incident that occurred in Salem on November 12th. Two cats in a home caught a bat and tore it apart, leaving pieces on the kitchen floor which were found by the boy. One of the pieces ended up in the child’s mouth. The bat could not be tested for rabies, but the children are being treated as a precaution. Because of the family’s socio-economic status, the medication is being provided by the manufacturer at no charge. – See http://www.salemnews.net/page/content.detail/id/569671/Children-treated-for-rabies-exposure.html?nav=5007

0714Raccoon_Procyon_lotor_4Virginia 12/20/13 York County: The Peninsula Health District has issued a Rabies Alert for residents in the vicinity of Calthrop Neck Road and Quarter Track in the Tabb section after a raccoon tesed positive for the virus. – See http://www.wavy.com/news/local/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-yc

 

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