Rabies reports from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia

Arizona  05/11/10  ktar.com:  Flagstaff  – Health officials in northern Arizona are recommending that skunks and foxes be vaccinated against rabies. Officials say that would help prevent the spread of the disease to other wildlife and domestic pets, though there have been no confirmed cases of rabies this year. Coconino County Health Department Director Barbara Worgess says rabies, plague and hantavirus are the area’s top zoonotic diseases. Health workers dropped edible vaccine packets by plane in rural areas outside Flagstaff last year and by hand in the city. Skunks were trapped and vaccinated by injection. A continuation of the vaccinations this year would require approval from the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Colorado  05/10/10  kdvr.com:  Fort Morgan – Health officials have confirmed that a skunk found on private property south of Fort Morgan earlier this month was infected with rabies. The skunk was seen during the day and behaving abnormally, prompting the resident to shoot it. Healthy skunks are normally nocturnal.  “This rabid skunk in eastern Adams County, along with additional cases in Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert Counties over the last two months, confirms that rabies in the wild animal population is endemic in rural areas east of I-25, and that it is moving closer to more densely populated areas of metro Denver,” said Dr. Richard Vogt, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “Now, all three of the counties in our jurisdiction have skunk rabies.”

Florida  05/10/10  wptv.com:  Vero BeachHealth officials are warning people to avoid wild or stray animals after confirming two rabies cases in the last month, including one in a feral cat.  Indian River County Health Department issued a rabies alert Monday for the area west of U.S. 1, east of 58th Avenue, north of Oslo Road and south of 20th Street. Both the confirmed cases in the last month exposed humans to the viral disease.

Michigan  05/10/10  mlive.com:  Lansing A rabid bat in Kent County has been the only case of rabies confirmed in West Michigan this year,  but with the recent illness of a dog in Oakland County, state officials are urging Michigan animal owners to have all susceptible species vaccinated against rabies.  Last year, rabid bats were found in Allegan, Barry, Kalamazoo and Cass counties, state records show.  A horse in Lapeer County was diagnosed with rabies this year.  So far in 2010, six rabid animals have been detected in Michigan, including the horse in Lapeer County and the dog. The other cases include bats from Kent, Clinton and Tuscola counties, and a skunk from St. Clair County.

North Carolina  05/07/10  the-dispatch.com:  The Davidson County Health Department reports the second case of rabies this week and the third for the year.  A fox attacked several animals in the Denton community. A dog and several cats were not properly vaccinated and have been destroyed. There was human exposure reported, and that person has been referred to a physician for medical follow-up.

North Carolina  05/07/10  digtriad.com:  Summerfield — A freak attack by a fox put a local man in the hospital under treatment for rabies.  Gary Nash says he saw the two-foot- long fox near his home in Summerfield the day before the attack.  As he was working in his yard, he saw the fox dart into a pipe under his driveway.  When it emerged the lunging fox forced Gary to the ground, knocking him unconscious. “And when I woke up and looked, she was just knawing away,” Gary said. “So I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and started body slamming her on the concrete and finally killed it. But by then I was a bloody mess.” The incident left bites to his arm and wounds to his face and the back of his head, from falling twice during the attack.  The fox tested positive for rabies.

North Carolina  05/07/10  witn.com:  There’s been a confirmed case of rabies in another Eastern Carolina county.  Hyde County says its first confirmed case of 2010 was found on Jacks Road in the Engelhard community last Friday. The health department says the rabid raccoon broke into a seven foot high wire fence dog pen and attacked two dogs. The owner of the dogs removed the raccoon with a “catch stick”.  The rabid animal managed to escape, but was eventually shot and killed by the owner.

Oklahoma  05/10/10  krmg.com:  Oologah – A run-in with a rabid skunk gets an Oologah dog quarantined at an animal hospital. The owner of a 3-year old boxer named Tyson has been under the care of Doctor Ron Wallace at the Will Rogers Animal Hospital after testing showed the skunk was rabid and Tyson had not been properly protected. Doctor Wallace says, “In this situation, the poor guy was told that the dog was vaccinated and they checked and it hadn’t been.” He says Tyson is in for a series of three rabies shots over eight weeks. Doctor Wallace says, so far, the dog has no symptoms of rabies.

South Carolina  05/11/10  thestate.com:  People in South Carolina need to be aware of the potential of contracting rabies from bats, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.  In three recent incidents in Charleston County, nine people have been treated for possible rabies infections after suspected encounters with bats.  “Bats have very small, sharp teeth that might feel like a mosquito bite, so people may not realize they have been bitten,” said Dr. Robert Ball, DHEC’s infectious disease consultant in Charleston.  If you are bitten by a bat and possibly exposed to rabies, DHEC recommends that you capture or kill the bat, put it in a plastic bag and contact the local DHEC county public health department. Also, wash the affected area with soap and water and get medical attention as quickly as possible.

Virginia  05/11/10  roanoke.com:  Roanoke – Health department officials confirmed two rabies cases last week, one each in Roanoke and Roanoke County.  A rabid red fox in the 2000 block of Rutrough Road in Southeast Roanoke was confirmed Thursday and a rabid raccoon in the 3000 block of Catawba Valley Drive in the county was confirmed Saturday.  There is no indication that the two cases are connected, Virginia Health Department spokesman Robert Parker said. Instead, he said, it is indicative of the endemic nature of rabies in the area.  Health officials are monitoring four dogs who may have encountered the fox, but all of them have current rabies vaccinations. The department also is monitoring one dog that may have had contact with the raccoon, Parker said. It’s unknown if that dog had a current rabies vaccination.

Virginia  05/07.10  richlands-news-press.com:  A Smyth County Health Department investigation of a possible rabid skunk in the Plum Creek area west of Chilhowie found two dogs killed a skunk two days earlier. The skunk was collected and sent to the state lab where it tested positive for rabies.

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2 responses to “Rabies reports from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia

  1. Your story should read . . . . Health officials are recommending that pets be vaccinated against rabies to protect them from rabid skunks and foxes.
    There is no possible way we could vaccinate wild foxes and skunks, however we can greatly reduce spread of the disease by vaccinating pets who may bring the disease home and spread to humans.

    • Dear Nancy: According to the report filed by ktar.com, “Coconino County Health Department Director Barbara Worgess says rabies, plague and hantavirus are the area’s top zoonotic diseases. Health workers dropped edible vaccine packets by plane in rural areas outside Flagstaff last year and by hand in the city. Skunks were trapped and vaccinated by injection. A continuation of the vaccinations this year would require approval from the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
      Thanks for your comment. Jerry Genesio

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