Maine reports first documented case of Hantavirus; California city reports first case of Lyme Disease this year; Massachusetts identifies new Lyme Disease hot spots; and Rabies reports from Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina (2), and Texas. Announcement: 2nd Annual World Rabies Day International Call for Abstracts.

Deer mouse, a common Hantavirus carrier. Photo courtesy CDC.

Maine 05/12/11 Maine CDC has been notified of a diagnosis of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in a resident of Somerset County. This is the first documented case of HPS in a Maine resident. This resident had not recently traveled outside of Maine and was reported to have exposures known to be associated with hantavirus. HPS is a serious and life-threatening viral disease (fatality rate approximately 30-40%) that is transmitted to humans by exposure to infected rodents. Hantavirus is spread by certain species of infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans become infected after breathing fresh aerosolized urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials, or when these materials are directly introduced into broken skin, the nose or the mouth. There is no specific treatment or cure for hantavirus infection. Treatment of patients with HPS remains supportive in nature. For more information on hantavirus, visit the Maine CDC website ( or the federal CDC website (

Deer tick carries Lyme Disease

California 05/16/11 by J.D. O’Connor – Lafayette City Manager Steven Falk reported in his Friday Summary this week that a local youth living in the Hawthorne Road neighborhood was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. No small thing and we wish the person well. Hard to believe that an insect just bigger than a tic-tac could unleash this snowballing effect of medical maladies. Caught early enough most sufferers come out unscathed but everyone should know to cover up when tromping through our pastures and oak woodlands…… and to brush the family pet with an eye toward catching any ticks that may have climbed aboard

Massachusetts 05/17/11 Lyme disease cases are rising in the Bay State, and the towns that have some of the most cases may surprise you.  A disease historically found on the Cape and the Islands is now a statewide concern.  “What we’ve seen over the last few years is a transition from that being our hot spot to an area that includes Norfolk, Middlesex and Essex counties,” Dr. Catherine Brown said.  The new hot spots are some of the state’s most populated. “People aren’t aware that they’re at risk even in their own backyard,” Brown said.  According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, nine of the 13 towns with the most cases were in Norfolk, Middlesex, and Essex counties — including Franklin, where cases have more than tripled since 2005. In Weymouth, cases of Lyme were up more than 600 percent.  While anyone can get Lyme disease, middle-aged adults and 5- to 14-year-olds are most at risk.

Georgia 05/17/11 by Judy Putnam – Gwinnett County has issued rabies alerts after a grey fox and cat both tested positive for rabies, according to the Animal Welfare and Enforcement website. The fox was found on East Crogan Street in Lawrenceville on May 15, and the cat on Cindy Court in Duluth on May 5.  Both animals were tested at the University of Georgia state laboratory. Officials urge that anyone bitten or scratched by a stray animal, or if you know of anyone handling a stray, call the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200, ext. 5576. Any animal acting unusual should be reported to the Animal Welfare and Enforcement office at 770-513-5100.

Maryland 05/16/11 by Dave McMillion – Hagerstown man beat a fox to death with a shotgun Monday afternoon on Bentwood Drive after the animal bit his wife on the leg. The Humane Society of Washington County responded to the home off Halfway Boulevard near Valley Mall and took the fox so it can be tested for rabies, according to Sgt. Brian Albert of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Terry and Melinda Pike of 17014 Bentwood Drive said the fox attacked their small dog, grabbing their pet by its head and ears. Terry Pike said he grabbed a shoe and beat the fox repeatedly. Melinda Pike had two puncture wounds where the fox bit her on her lower left leg. She said she was planning to start a series of rabies shots because of the attack, which was reported at 4:10 p.m. Suspicious animals can be reported to Maryland Natural Resources Police at 410-260-8888.

North Carolina 05/17/11 A sixth case of rabies has been reported this year in Davidson County, according to the Davidson County Health Department. A rabid raccoon was killed by a dog in Thomasville Wednesday. The dog was not properly vaccinated and has since been destroyed, according to officials.

North Carolina 05/16/11 by Steve Lyttle – A Hickory man is receiving rabies treatments after being attacked by a fox on a golf course last week, Caldwell County officials say. The fox was found to have rabies, authorities say. the attack happened Wednesday at Granada Farms Country Club in Granite Falls. According to Caldwell County officials, a fox came out of the woods about 2:30 p.m. that day and attacked a 76-year-old man, biting him on the lower part of his leg. The man’s golf partners began beating the fox with their clubs. They killed the fox and called Caldwell County Animal Control officials. Greg Greene, Caldwell County’s animal control director, said results from the rabies test were received Friday, and the man began receiving treatments. This is the third confirmed rabies case in Caldwell County this year. The others were a skunk near Hudson and a raccoon in the Granite Falls area.

Texas 05/16/11 by Joe Conger – Two baby skunks and a fox are being examined for rabies, brought in Monday by Kerr County animal control. The fox bit a cat in a local subdivision then lunged at the pet’s owner in the middle of day. Examiners will test it and meanwhile, the cat is in quarantine. On Friday, a confirmed rabid skunk was discovered behind the Kerrville Walmart. That discovery makes four confirmed cases, stretching from Centerville, Texas, to downtown Kerrville.


Registration/Call for Abstracts is Now Open!

Sponsored by:

Global Alliance for Rabies Control

and the

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To register, submit an abstract or learn about the Webinar, please visit

This two-day live Webinar brings together noted leaders in rabies research, One-Health advocates, professionals, students and World Rabies Day event planners in real-time to discuss the important public health issue of rabies while providing a forum for dialogue within and across disciplines. There is no cost to attend the live webinars but attendance is limited to the first 1000 registrants/logins.

Space is limited – register early!


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