Lyme disease report from North Dakota; and Rabies reports from Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Georgia 11/11/10 Americus – According to the Sumter County Environmental Health Office, a skunk was killed in the Fox Stephens Road area and was submitted to the Albany Regional Laboratory, where it tested positive for rabies.

New Jersey 11/11/10 Egg Harbor Twp. – A raccoon found on the grounds of an Egg Harbor Township hotel has tested positive for rabies.  A published report says it was found Monday by a guest of the hotel on the Black Horse Pike. Health officials warn not to approach or touch wild animals. Officials say pets should be vaccinated against rabies.

New York 11/12/10 Officials say a fox that attacked several people in Ontario County earlier this week was in fact rabid.  A fox attacked three people on Sunday and Monday in the South Street area of Gorham in Ontario County.  The fox was ultimately put down, and tests were sent to Albany, and those tests did come back positive for rabies.  Ed McGuigan is the Director of the Humane Society in Ontario County and he says precautionary measures have been put in place.  He says, “there was rumor that there may have been a second fox. We have set traps at the location, checked the traps daily, and no other fox has been caught or seen in the area.”  McGuigan says foxes will hunt for food and they are attracted to bird feeders.  He says they are also known to chase and kill cats. So people are reminded to have their cats vaccinated for rabies.

North Carolina 11/12/10 Officials confirmed Friday Orange County’s eighth reported case of rabies this year.  County officials say a raccoon came into contact with two dogs Wednesday. A resident saw the dogs circle the raccoon and eventually kill it. Both dogs had already received rabies vaccinations and will get booster shots after the encounter.   The resident was not exposed to the raccoon, but did have contact with one of the dogs after the incident. Orange County’s Health Department will evaluate the resident to determine whether secondary exposure occurred.  The number of cases is down in 2010 compared to recent years. 12 cases were reported in 2009 and the recent peak in cases came in 2006 when Orange County reported 26 cases.

North Dakota 11/12/10 by Brad Dokken – Researchers studying deer ticks in North Dakota have confirmed Lyme disease in one of the ticks captured during a research project that began last spring.  The tick-transmitted disease can affect the skin, nervous system, heart and joints.  According to Nate Russart, a University of North Dakota graduate student working on the tick study, Lyme disease was confirmed in a single adult deer tick captured in Steele County. Researchers sampled 92 deer ticks, mostly in eastern North Dakota, and none of the other ticks tested positive for the disease, Russart said.  The study marks the first time deer ticks have been confirmed in North Dakota.  Relatively common in Minnesota, which has more of the forested habitat deer ticks prefer, Lyme disease remains uncommon in North Dakota. But more cases have shown up in recent years. According to the state’s Department of Health, North Dakota had 15 confirmed or suspected cases of Lyme disease in 2009, along with 11 cases in 2008, 12 cases in 2007 and seven cases in 2006.  From 2000 to 2005, North Dakota had no more than three cases, and there were no reports of Lyme disease in 2001, 2003 and 2004, the health department said.  Minnesota, by comparison, has had 900 to more than 1,200 Lyme disease cases since 2005, according to statistics from the state health department.

Virginia 11/12/10 Newport News – A raccoon recently tested positive for rabies virus in the area of Basswood Drive, according to a news release from the Peninsula Health District.   Anyone having information regarding any exposure to this animal (bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose, mouth) is asked to contact the Newport News Health Department at 594-7340. Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal. After hours, please contact local Animal Control at 595-7387.


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