Rabies reports from Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.


Colorado  12/21/10 krdo.com: Public Health Department officials announced Tuesday a skunk tested positive for rabies in the area of Baxter Road and Consolidation Lane, along the Arkansas River waterway in Pueblo County. This brings the number of skunks to test positive for rabies in Pueblo to four. No animals tested positive for rabies in Pueblo in 2009.  “It is important for pet owners to protect their pets from rabies with a rabies vaccine. Look at your pet’s tag or medical papers and make sure they have their current rabies vaccine,” stated Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods. She added, “Skunks, that may have rabies, can be found near houses and interacting with people and pets.” If you see a skunk during daylight hours acting abnormally, such as stumbling or acting overly aggressive, make sure to stay away from the animal, especially children and pets, and call Pueblo Animal Services (719) 544-3005 to report the location. Dogs and cats with expired vaccinations or no rabies vaccination who are exposed to rabies, have an extremely high chance of getting infected and dying from the disease. Pets exposed to rabies also pose a tremendous risk to humans because they can bring rabies into the home. Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid mammals and is almost always fatal. After a bite or other high risk exposure to a rabid animal, the person needs to start post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) immediately to prevent almost certain death from rabies. The PEP includes immune globulin and the vaccine series.  While rabies is most commonly found in bats, people and pets should avoid contact with skunks and other wild animals such as foxes or raccoons, since these animals may be rabid.  “Leaving pet food outside will attract wildlife. Please keep your pet food away and make it inaccessible to wildlife,” Dr. Nevin-Woods added.

Florida 12/20/10 news4jax.com: The St. Johns County Health Department has issued a rabies alert in response to a feral cat that tested positive for rabies and was reported Monday.   All residents of St. Johns County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated, the Health Department said.   Alerts are designed to increase public awareness, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert. The rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is located on Rio Vista Avenue and includes the following area boundaries in St. Johns County:  North to Ponce Island Drive – South to Rambla Street – East to the Intracoastal Waterway – West to Lewis Speedway.  An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly involving raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

Georgia 12/21/10 accessnorthga.com: by Marc Eggers – A rabies alert has been issued at either end of Hall County.  A Dec. 13 incident in the River Road area of south Hall County involving a raccoon, and a Dec. 16 incident in the Dawn Ridge area of northern Hall County involving a skunk have both tested positive for rabies.  “Positive Alert” signs have been posted in these two areas.  Authorities said that if you should observe an animal acting abnormally contact Hall County Animal Services immediately at (770) 536-8812.

North Carolina 12/21/10 wect.com: Another case of rabies has been confirmed in New Hanover County, bringing the total to 13.  According to New Hanover County Animal Control Services, a dog fought and killed a rabid raccoon Thursday evening on Pineknoll Road in the Murraysville area.   The canine was current on its rabies vaccination, but the pet’s owner handled it without protective gloves following the attack.  The CDC guidelines recommend animals with up to date vaccinations should be re-boostered within five days of contact.  Pets should never be handled without protective gloves after being exposed to wildlife, due to the potential for carrying residual saliva from the infected animal.  There are three primary routes of transmission of the rabies virus, which is carried in the saliva of the infected animal: 1) the primary route of transmission is through a bite which breaks the skin of the victim, 2) salivary contact to an open, fresh wound, or, 3) salivary contact to the mucous membranes of a potential victim.  People should stay away from any animal that they have not been cleared to hold or pet, including owned dogs or cats, and especially wildlife.


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