Rabies reports from Massachusetts, and North Carolina; and Bubonic Plague report from Oregon.

Massachusetts 10/02/10 telegram.com: by Brian Lee – Spencer – Animal Control Officer Carol J. Gaucher is warning residents that there are rabid animals in the West Avenue-Thompson Pond area.  A rabid raccoon was found by a homeowner in that area on Sept. 23.  The raccoon had entered the home through a broken window in the cellar. The homeowner’s dog killed the raccoon.  The 10-year-old dog was not current on its rabies shots and is under six months’ quarantine, Mrs. Gaucher said yesterday.  The owner had to get a booster, and her boyfriend had to get a series of shots, according to the animal control officer.

North Carolina 10/01/10 citizen-times.com: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will begin distributing oral rabies vaccination baits on Monday in portions of Western North Carolina.  The vaccination baits are part of a multi-state effort to prevent the spread of raccoon rabies.  The project will distribute 716,850 baits by fixed-wing aircraft and 121,320 by hand in parts of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.  Raccoon rabies is found in virtually every county in North Carolina, and raccoon-variant rabies is responsible for the majority of rabies cases in domestic and wild animals throughout North Carolina. To date in 2010, the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health has confirmed 164 positive cases of rabies in raccoons.  For additional information concerning the raccoon oral rabies vaccination program, visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/oral_rabies/index.shtml or contact call 1–866–4–USDA–WS (1–866–487–3297).


Oregon 10/01/10 opb.org:  by David Nogueras – State health officials say a woman in Lake County has been diagnosed with bubonic plague.  It’s the first diagnosis in Oregon in 15 years. The disease terrorized Europe’s population more than 600 years ago, but the plague is

This person with bubonic plague has a swollen lymph node, called a "bubo," in the armpit. Photo courtesy of the CDC.

treatable when caught early.  The plague is extremely rare these days.  It’s a bacterial infection carried by rodents, and is transmitted to humans though fleas.  Dr. Emilio DeBess is the public health veterinarian and an epidemiologist with Oregon Department of Human Services.  He says the disease, once known as the Black Death got somewhat of a bad rap after killing off a third of Europe’s population in the 1300s.  But he says thanks to scientific advances, it’s no longer a death sentence.   Emilio DeBess: “It’s a very treatable condition with antibiotics and so that’s usually not a concern, back then they didn’t have antibiotics.  We do have very good antibiotics that treat the infection.”  Health officials have not released the name of the Lake County woman who fell ill at the end of August.   DeBess says authorities are now trying to determine the source of the infection.


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