Rabies reports from California (2), Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, and North Carolina.

Long-tongued Bat at hummingbird feeder in Arizona. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

California 10/21/10 latimes.com: by Dan Weikel – Orange County health officials issued a warning to the public Thursday after a rabid bat was discovered in a residential area of San Juan Capistrano.  Anyone who might have had contact with a bat in the vicinity of Village and Marina roads is encouraged to call the Orange County Health Care Agency at (714) 834-8180 so that a nurse can evaluate the person’s risk of contracting rabies.  Parents also are advised to talk to their children who may have walked home from school or other activities through the neighborhood, or from school bus stops in the area and may have come in contact with the bat.

California 10/21/10 insidebayarea.com: by Kimberly White – Residents are being advised to be careful when they come into contact with bats and other wild animals after a second bat has tested positive for rabies in Scotts Valley.  Lynn Miller, interim executive director of the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority, said the bat was discovered at a home on Arabian Way on Oct. 12. Another bat discovered at the same residence in June of 2009 also tested positive for rabies. Both bats were dead when the homeowners discovered them.  Two cats that live at the residence will be quarantined in the home for six months as a precautionary measure, according to Todd Stousuy, the agency’s supervising field manager.  “Residents should be aware that rabies exists in the local bat population and should take all precautions to avoid contact with bats,” he wrote in a statement.  Animal Services is advising anyone who’s had recent, direct contact with a bat on or near Arabian Way to contact a physician. Children should be warned not to handle dead bats and to avoid other wild animals, including skunks and raccoons. Pet owners should ensure their animals are up-to-date on rabies vaccines.

Colorado 10/18/10 krdo.com: El Paso County Health Department confirms that the number of confirmed rabies infections has risen to 16; four skunks, four foxes, and eight bats.  Last week a skunk killed 12 miles east of Fountain, and tested positive for the infection.  Patricia Graf has lived in the area for 20 years and has never heard of rabies in the area.  Graf says, “Let people know rabies is out here, and it’s very real and pets need to be vaccinated for their safety and the families safety. Especially with children around.”

Connecticut 10/20/10 courant.com: Two more cases of rabies in animals have been confirmed in Cheshire.  Animal Control Officer April Leiler said Wednesday that a family cat found on Schoolhouse Road and Peck Lane tested positive for rabies Monday.  The cat was tested because it showed symptoms of rabies and had scratched its owners.  “The owners called and said their cat was acting strange, breathing funny, growling, acting aggressively toward them,” Leiler said.  The cat had not been vaccinated. Leiler said she trapped the animal and recommended that it be put down.  The owners have started post exposure rabies vaccinations.  There were 112 cases of rabies in the state from January 1 through Sept. 20, according to the Department of Public Health. Most cases were discovered in raccoons, skunks and bats.  Leiler said a skunk found on Lansdowne Lane tested positive for rabies last week. The skunk was found near a cat that had been vaccinated for rabies.  A resident called Leiler and said the skunk had been in her woodchips for a few hours. Leiler said the skunk was chewing on a stick and wasn’t moving well when she showed up.  The latest incidents bring the number of recent reports of rabid animals in town to five.

Florida 10/19/10 wbxl.tv: Tallahassee – Richard Ziegler, Director of Leon County Animal Control, warns citizens to use extra caution when they see wild animals, especially raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bats, to protect themselves and their pets from the dangers of rabies.  A rabies vaccination is the first line of defense for people and their pets.  Since September there have been nine cases of people and domestic animals being exposed to raccoons that were acting strangely.  Three cases were positive for the rabies virus and included one person and two pet dogs.  The six raccoons in the other cases exposed only pets but could not be tested because they ran away.  “Exposure” can include bites, scratches, and saliva in the eye, mouth or nose.   The cases were scattered around Leon County, including the northeast at Sedona Lane off Miccosukee Road and Fleischman Road, the east near Weems Road, and the south off Springhill Road, near the airport.
North Carolina 10/20/10 wcti12.com: by Monica Yancy – The Lenoir County Health Department confirms the eighth case of rabies in Lenoir County this year. That eighth case is also the second domestic pet with rabies this year. The department director thinks the cat was exposed to rabies Friday. The Kinston Free Press reports another pet was exposed to that rabid cat. That pet was already vaccinated and is now being quarantined. People exposed to that cat also had to be treated.

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