Rabies reports from Colorado, Florida, New York, and North Dakota

Colorado  04/03/10  newfalconherald.com:  by Kathleen Wallace – In 2009, El Paso County had its worst outbreak of skunk rabies in 40 years.  At least eight rabid skunks were found in the county, which had been free of skunk rabies since 1970.  In addition to the eight rabid skunks, at least one cow and one horse developed rabies symptoms and required euthanasia.  Post-mortem tests confirmed both had rabies.  Dr. Bernadette Albanese, medical director of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment, said she is worried the outbreak will be worse this year.  Albanese said her department saw plenty of skunk rabies throughout the winter, a time that should have been relatively quiet.  Now skunks are getting more active as they’re starting to breed, with more potential for skunk-to-skunk rabies transmission, she said.  Three rabid skunks have already been found this year, she added.

Florida  04/02/10  wokv.com:  by Rich Jones – Jacksonville – The Duval County Health Department issues a rabies alert. A rabid fox was recently found in the Greenland area, bordered on the north by Phillips Highway at Plumwood Drive, on the south by Durbin Creek at Interstate 95, on the east by Davis Creek at Crawford Street, and on the west by Magnolia Falls Drive at Winrose Falls Drive. Officials say there are no human exposures to rabies at this time.

New York 04/01/10  timesunion.com:  Staff writer Kenneth C. Crowe II reports that two raccoons and a grey fox have tested positive for rabies in Rensselaer County, within a mile of each other. The raccoons were found near Van Dyke Drive South in the city and Mammoth Spring Road in Wynantskill. The fox was captured on Sliters Lane in Wynantskill.County officials advised residents to be cautious and to make sure their pets rabies vacinnations are up-to-date. The county Health Departments said rabies exposure can include a bite, scratch, or saliva contact with a rabid animal.Residents should avoid contact with wild or stray animals.Report all animal bites to humans or contact with wild animals to the Rensselaer County Department of Health for follow-up.

North Dakota  04/02/10  wday.com:  Grand Forks — About 10 people are being told they should get rabies shots because they had direct contact with an infected stray dog brought to a Grand Forks shelter. The Circle of Friends Humane Society euthanized the dog and one other after the positive test. The state Health Department says anyone who might have had contact with the dogs should get in touch with health authorities. County environmental health supervisor Tim Haak says at least 40 people called on Thursday, and most of them were at low risk, though everyone was told to see a doctor as a precaution. Shelter director Arlette Moen says it’s the first time in her 16 years with the Humane Society that one of the animals tested positive for rabies.

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