Rhode Island HEALTH says do not eat Raw Shellfish; West Nile Virus found in Boston, Massachusetts; more Connecticut mosquitoes test positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus; and Rabies reports from California, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Travel Warnings for the Bahamas.

Little Neck Clams. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rhode Island 07/15/11 ri.gov: Press Release – The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) has received a report of a laboratory-confirmed case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection in a male in his 70s who ate raw clams earlier this month. HEALTH is not certain where the clams were harvested. The man was treated and is recovering. HEALTH recommends the following to all Rhode Islanders: · Do not eat raw oysters, clams, mussels, or shellfish. · Cook all shellfish thoroughly. For shellfish in a hard shell (clams, oysters, mussels), boil for five minutes after the shells open or steam for 9 minutes after the shells open. Do not eat clams, oysters, or mussels that do not open during cooking. Boil shucked oysters for at least 3 minutes or fry in oil that is 375 degrees for 10 minutes. · Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers. · Clean surfaces, cutting boards, and utensils after they have come in contact with raw shellfish or shellfish juices. · Harvest shellfish from approved areas only and refrigerate shellfish immediately. Vibrio parahaemolyticus symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills. The illness is usually mild or moderate, although some cases may require hospitalization. Symptoms usually last two or three days. Children, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system can develop more serious symptoms. Anyone who has eaten raw or improperly cooked shellfish and has these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

Massachusetts 07/15/11 boston.com: by Kay Lazar – More mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been detected in Boston, city health officials announced this afternoon. Four samples — three from West Roxbury and one from Dorchester — were collected on Tuesday, the Boston Public Health Commission reported. It’s the second time this summer that mosquito pools in Boston have tested positive for the virus. On July 8, two positive mosquito pools were found in West Roxbury. There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile in Boston this year.

Connecticut  07/15/11 patch.com: by Ben Lasman – The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) released numbers today showing that sixteen mosquito samples collected from North Haven’s Quinnipiac River Park tested positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus, the highest incidence in the state. 104,593 mosquitoes were tested for West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE), and Jamestown Canyon virus (JC) as part of a statewide sampling effort by the CAES. In North Haven alone, 2,515 mosquitoes were captured and processed by the Station. While the occurrence of JC in Quinnipiac River Park was the highest recorded in Connecticut, scientists from the CAES note that the majority of cases present with mild flu-like symptoms, and many people exposed to the virus avoid infection altogether.

California 07/16/11 eastcountymagazine.org: San Diego Sheriff’s office seeks public help to identify three boys, 12-13 years old, who brought an ill Mexican free-tailed bat to a Petco Store in Vista on July 10. An employee contacted Project Wildlife and later, County Public Health officials tested the bat and found it positive for rabies. Bats become more active this time of year and County Health officials urge parents in all areas of the County to instruct children never to touch a bat, dead or alive.

Illinois 07/16/11 nwherald.com: A rabid bat July 13 in a Cary home was the area’s second reported rabid bat of the season, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. The homeowners contained the bat in a room and immediately called Animal Control at 815-459-6222. To test bats for rabies, it is important that they be in good condition with the head intact – either alive or recently deceased. Bats that test negative for rabies eliminate the need for humans to undergo rabies treatment after exposure. Statewide, 17 rabid bats have been reported in 14 counties. Last year, McHenry County led the state with 22 rabid bats; statewide, the total was 117.

Louisiana 07/15/11 wwl.com: by David Blake – The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is warning residents to stay away from coyotes because of the threat of rabies.  Since the high river levels, coyotes are becoming more of a problem in urban areas, attacking pets and digging through garbage.  State Public Health Veterinarian Gary Balsamo says they’re concerned about family pets being attacked and bitten. In the areas where there have been more sightings he warns, ”It’s probably not a good idea to leave very small children outside by themselves,” he warned. Dr. Balsamo says rabies is usually spread from skunks in Louisiana but the coyotes are highly susceptible to infection. He says don’t make your home inviting to the predators. ”Don’t leave out unsealed dog or cat food or garbage that’s not sealed properly,” he explained. Even a scratch from a coyote could warrant a trip to the emergency room or local doctor. While rabies can be treated it usually involves a series of painful injections but they are life saving.

Pennsylvania 07/14/11 state.pa.us: Press Release – The Department of Health is investigating reports of a potentially rabid cat in Bloomsburg, Columbia County. A black cat, wearing a turquoise collar, has bitten several people near E and Fifth Streets in Bloomsburg. The department’s investigation has revealed that the cat had been acting sickly. If residents see this cat or any other animal acting strangely, they should avoid it and immediately call the local animal control agency. The department urges anyone who may have been bitten or exposed to the cat’s saliva or fluids to contact its Northcentral District Office, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 570-327-3400. Residents can also call 1-877-PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).  Anyone with a pet that may have come in contact with the potentially rabid cat should contact their veterinarian. Exposure to rabies includes being bitten, scratched or had saliva from an animal enter an open wound or mucous membranes such as eyes, nose or mouth. Under these circumstances, people should seek immediate medical attention.  The department also reminds people to avoid contact with feral animals of any kind. All animals that can be vaccinated – cats, dogs and ferrets – should be given the rabies vaccine to protect them in case they are exposed to a rabid animal. For more information about rabies, visit http://www.health.state.pa.us or call 1-877-PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

 Virginia 07/16/11 hamptonroads.com: by Jennifer Jiggetts – A fox tested positive Friday for rabies, according to a news release from the city’s Health Department. The fox had been in the Pinecroft area of Churchland, the release said. No one was bitten by the fox, but two dogs were exposed. Officials are encouraging people to not approach wild or stray animals. Report stray or sick animals to Animal Control, the release said. For more information, contact (757) 435-2620.

Travel Warnings:

Bahamas 07/15/11 tribune242.com: There have been two confirmed dengue fever cases out of 26 suspected incidents for the year thus far, Health Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said. The Department of Environmental Health has subsequently stepped up fogging exercises in southern New Providence, the area where those patients with confirmed cases live. In 2010, there were 10 confirmed dengue fever cases. “Last year we had about 51 suspected cases; out of that only 10 were confirmed. This year so far we had 26 suspected cases; of that 26 only two were positive. But once they come in with symptoms we automatically test them. “We’ve identified the areas they would have come from and communicated to Environmental Health to increase the fogging to be on the safe side. Environmental Health has increased fogging especially to the south – such as Carmichael Road, Bacardi Road, Ridgeland and South Beach.” Dr Minnis added that the ill patients caught the disease locally. “These incidents were not related to travel but there is an increase in dengue throughout the region. We’ve increased our fogging and that’s why the Bahamas did not suffer like some other countries in the region,” said Dr Minnis.

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