Rabies reports from Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts (2), New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Connecticut 09/22/10 cheshireherald.com: by Josh Morgan – There has been a rash of rabid animals caught in Cheshire as of late and Animal Control officers are urging residents to report any animal that appears to be suffering from rabies.  In recent weeks there were rabid raccoons on Greenwood Drive and Cornwall Avenue, and rabid skunks along Dundee Drive and Avon Boulevard. Animal Control Officer April Leiler said she has seen more rabid skunks than raccoons, but residents should be alert and report any animal that might be ill. An animal could be rabid if it is nocturnal and is out during the day. Other signs that might indicate the disease are if the animal is having difficulty moving, seeing or is repeatedly doing the same activity such as moving from one part of the yard to another and back again.

Kansas 09/23/10 kmbc.com: A bat from Johnson County, Kan., has tested positive for rabies, according to health officials.  The Health Department said this is the fourth case in Johnson County this year.  There have been 50 animals that have tested positive for rabies so far this year in Kansas. The animals include skunks, cattle, dogs, cats and bats.

Maine 09/22/10 bangordailynews.com: by Nick Sambides Jr. – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention informed town officials last week that a bat captured in Lincoln tested positive for rabies, and it wants any bats found in houses preserved for testing, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said.   If a bat is rabid, and people let it free, there is a potential for it to spread the disease, Goodwin said Wednesday.  Rabies cases in Maine are not unusual but are fairly rare. The state’s epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Sears, said in late August that fewer than 50 had been reported statewide in 2010, which is “not that high” and not above normal.  The three documented cases in Aroostook County this year — a skunk and two raccoons found in Sherman Mills — bring the total to eight for The County in the past three years, he said.  From January to August, 46 cases of rabies were documented statewide, with 10 in Cumberland, eight in Kennebec and six in Androscoggin counties. No other county had more than three reported cases, and five counties — Franklin, Waldo, Washington, Piscataquis and Sagadahoc — did not have any.  In August, a Brunswick man said he was attacked by a raccoon that climbed the stairs to get at him, biting his leg and hand. He told a local newspaper that he was receiving shots because the animal tested positive for rabies.

Massachusetts 09/21/10 cw56.com: Pet owners are worried in one Weymouth community after a rabid fox attacked a dog and two officers last week.  Eventually, officials caught and killed the fox, and rabies tests on the animal later came back positive. The town is encouraging people to report fox sightings and avoid contact with any wild animals.

Massachusetts 09/21/10 universalhub.com: by adamg – The Boston Public Health Commission reports a raccoon found in Jamaica Plain on Sunday has tested positive for rabies and that a person exposed to the animal is now receiving rabies shots.

New Jersey 09/21/10 reminderusa.net: Cumberland County Health Officer, Virginia Preesada, announced that the Health Department received test results that indicated a raccoon, found in Bridgeton on Sept. 6 has tested positive for rabies. The raccoon was found dead near the East Lake area. Before the time of death, the raccoon appeared sick as it staggered along the lake area during the daytime.

Oklahoma 09/23/10 news9.com: Oklahoma State Department of Health officials are looking for any Pauls Valley area residents who had direct contact with a male kitten that may have been exposed to rabies.  Officials say the kitten, a short-haired Tabby with orange fur and lighter stripes, was found in the pet cage designated for animal drop-offs at the front gate of the Pauls Valley Animal Shelter on Sunday. Animal Control officials aren’t sure if the kitten was left there by someone who previously owned it, or if the kitten was a stray and was left by an individual who found it.  Health officials are asking anyone who may have come in contact with the kitten from Sept. 9 to Sunday to contact the agency, particularly if they had been bitten by the animal or been exposed to its saliva.

Pennsylvania 09/23/10 poconorecord.com: The woman who was attacked by a fox and killed it with her bare hands Tuesday said she’s been told by the Pennsylvania Game Commission that the fox had rabies.  Rachel Cohen of Stroudsburg must now start a series of rabies shots as she was scratched during the attack.

South Carolina 09/22/10 the cherawchronicle.com: by Matt Smith – A Blenheim, S.C., family was met with a dangerous intruder last week after the family was exposed to a cat that tested positive for rabies.  A man, woman and three children went under the care of a physician after coming in contact with the infected animal said the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.  According to Sue Ferguson of the DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health, the infected cat bit the man and woman. The three children had contact with the animal but were not bitten.  In 2010 there have been 71 confirmed cases of rabid animals in the state. Last year South Carolina recorded 152 confirmed rabid animal cases.  For more information about rabies and rabies clinics around the state, visit the DHEC webpage at http://www.scdhec.gov/rabies .

Tennessee 09/22/10 newschannel9.com: The Tennessee Dept. of Health is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to distribute an oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons along Tennessee’s borders with Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. The annual baiting program administered by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, will begin Friday, October 1, 2010.  “We are pleased to be part of this important and effective program to prevent rabies and protect the health of Tennesseans,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “We also want to remind pet owners of the importance of having rabies vaccinations current for all domestic animals to ensure their health and safety.”   Vaccine packets placed inside fishmeal blocks or coated with fishmeal will be distributed throughout a 15 county area in Tennessee. The barrier varies from 30 to 60 miles wide and covers approximately 3,400 square miles, running along the Georgia border in southeast Tennessee near Chattanooga to the Virginia/North Carolina border in northeast Tennessee. Baits will be distributed by hand from vehicles in urban and suburban areas and by dropping from specially equipped airplanes in rural areas.  The oral rabies vaccine will be distributed October 1 through 10 in Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties. Bait distribution will take place from October 7 through 15 in Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties.  “Rabies is most common in wild animals in Tennessee, and it poses a risk to humans and domestic animals that come into contact with wildlife,” said L. Rand Carpenter, DVM, assistant state public health veterinarian. “Control of raccoon rabies is vital to public health and we are very supportive of this USDA effort.”  This is the ninth year Tennessee has participated in baiting with rabies vaccine to slow and possibly halt the spread of raccoon rabies.  Two raccoons have been diagnosed with rabies in the eastern part of Tennessee so far this year. Since raccoon rabies was first detected in Tennessee in 2003, the disease has spread much less rapidly here than has been documented in other areas of the United States.

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