UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine to receive $1.4 million to study interventional vaccine for Rabies Virus; North Carolina reports first human case of La Crosse Viral Encephalitis this year; California and Wyoming report first human cases of West Nile Virus this year; West Nile Virus reports from California (3), Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania; and Rabies reports from Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, New York (3), Rhode Island, and Texas. Travel Warnings for India, and Sri Lanka.

Global 07/22/ Press Release – Dr. Zhen Fang Fu, a rabies researcher in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, will collaborate with Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson Medical College and several other institutions to test a curative vaccine for Rabies Virus, or RV, that could be administered late in the disease process. Fu’s work will be funded by a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. “More than 10 million people are bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal each year and require post-exposure treatment,” said Fu. “People who have been bitten must seek post-exposure treatment immediately, because there is no cure nor any interventional therapies for rabies once clinical symptoms of the disease are present.”

Dr. Zhen Fang Fu

Worldwide, more than 55,000 people die from rabies each year. According to the World Health Organization, the disease is prevalent in more than 150 countries and territories. The total NIH award is $4,850,126 over five years. It will be shared with the University of Georgia, Medical College of Wisconsin, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and Thomas Jefferson University.

North Carolina 07/22/11 by Dr. Ward Robinson – State public health officials today announced the season’s first case of the mosquito-borne illness La Crosse viral encephalitis (LAC). The patient, a child from Macon County, is recovering. This case is an important reminder that we all need to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, State Epidemiologist Megan Davies said. La Crosse viral infection symptoms occur from a few days to a couple of weeks after being bitten. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. In more severe cases, convulsions, tremors and coma can occur. Children under 16 years of age and the elderly are the most susceptible to the disease. While other mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus infection are found across the state, LaCrosse encephalitis is largely confined to western North Carolina and is the state˙s most common mosquito-borne disease. Most cases in North Carolina are recorded in late summer and early fall. State officials recorded 21 LAC cases in 2010. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records about 70 cases each year. The disease is rarely fatal, but a Swain County child died as a result of infection in 2009. There is no vaccine against La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV), so reducing exposure to mosquito bites is the best defense against getting infected with LACV or other mosquito-borne viruses. For additional information regarding mosquitoes and ticks, visit the N.C. Public Health website. For more information on insect repellent use in children, see the Healthy Children website. For specific information on the use of DEET on children see the American Academy of Pediatrics.

California 07/22/11 Press Release – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today reported a man in Santa Barbara County is the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus infection in California this year. The man was hospitalized, but is now recovering at home. “With the first confirmed human illness from West Nile virus this year, we are intensifying our surveillance for the virus with the help of all counties,” said CDPH Chief Deputy Director Kathleen Billingsley. “To protect against West Nile virus, the most important step people can take is avoiding mosquito bites.” To date in 2011, West Nile virus has been detected in 14 other California counties.

Wyoming 07/19/11 Press Release – An adult male from Goshen County is the state’s first reported human West Nile virus (WNV) case for 2011, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.  “We can’t consistently predict what may happen with West Nile virus from year to year,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist and acting state health officer with the Wyoming Department of Health. “Many factors affect the transmission of the disease.”  Murphy noted Wyoming has had human WNV cases reported as early as May and as late as October with late summer and early fall as the typical peak times. “The season is not over, and in fact is relatively early for West Nile virus. It remains important for people to protect themselves,” he said.

Gravid trap

California 07/23/11 The District received confirmation on Wednesday that another mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile virus. These mosquitoes were collected using a gravid trap (used for collecting mosquitoes looking for a place to lay eggs) in Ontario near Mountain Ave and Fifth Street. This is the second positive sample in for the District this year. Dr. Min-Lee Cheng, District Manager said, “Since the Fourth of July weekend we have seen higher temperatures and increasing mosquito populations. When it comes to mosquitoes, where there’s heat, there’s trouble.” The District phone number is 909-635-0307. The office is located at 1295 East Locust St. Ontario CA, 91761 and is open Monday-Friday 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

California 07/22/11 by Andrea Goodwin – Turlock Mosquito Abatement District has confirmed that West Nile Virus is again active in Stanislaus County. Three mosquito samples taken in Turlock on July 8 and one dead bird from the area tested positive for West Nile Virus. This announcement came just days before the California Department of Public Health confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus in the state this year. The Santa Barbara County man who was infected with West Nile Virus was hospitalized but is now recovering at home. Two human cases of West Nile Virus were reported in Turlock last year. Other Californians may be suffering from less severe cases of West Nile Virus that go unreported because they do not seek medical care.

Connecticut 07/22/11 by Bettina Thiel – The state Mosquito Management Program announced last week that mosquitoes trapped in Orange have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Orange by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station this year. “The identification of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Orange, after previously being found in Bridgeport, suggests that the virus is increasing in Southern Connecticut,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “We encourage residents and visitors throughout Connecticut to take steps to prevent mosquito bites. So far no Connecticut residents have been identified with illnesses caused by the virus this year.

Illinois 07/23/11 by Jonathan Bullington – Mosquitoes trapped in Skokie have tested positive for West Nile virus, village health officials announced. The results are the first this year of mosquitoes in Skokie testing positive for the virus, officials said. Any resident who finds a dead bird should call the Skokie Health Department at 847-933-8484 for testing.

Pennsylvania 07/22/11 by David Templeton – Two more mosquito samples, this time from the city’s western neighborhoods, have tested positive for the West Nile virus. The Allegheny County Health Department reported positive readings from sites along Middletown Road and Ramo Street. Health department spokesman Dave Zazac said the county has had six positive readings this month, with previous positives in early July that were collected in Homewood and Point Breeze. The six positive samples came from 322 mosquito total samples collected and 244 that were tested, Mr. Zazac said. There have been no confirmed human cases of the virus in the county this season.

Florida 07/22/11 by Jonathan Mattise – The St. Lucie County Health Department issued a countywide rabies advisory Friday after a rabid feral cat attacked two people near 3100 S. U.S. 1 last weekend. A less-than-a-year-old cat that was panting and foaming at the mouth lunged at two bystanders last Saturday and bit and scratched them. The two people bit currently are receiving rabies treatment, said David Koerner, director of the department’s Division of Environmental Health. The cat’s positive rabies test results came back Wednesday, and it died shortly after. The rabies case is the third this year in St. Lucie County. On Monday, animal control spotted a raccoon further south on U.S. 1 near Prima Vista Boulevard. That animal also tested positive, but it did not come in contact with any people, Koerner said. Earlier this year, animal control also found another rabies-positive raccoon, Koerner said.

Georgia 07/22/11 by Rodney Thrash – For the fourth time since May, a Cherokee County animal has tested positive for rabies. According to Cherokee County Environmental Health specialist Glendon Gordy, a rabid fox attacked a dog, then chased a jogger at a Woodstock residence on Hickory Fairway Drive on July 14. “The jogger kicked the fox away and it ran under the deck of a nearby home where it remained until local law enforcement arrived and shot it,” North Georgia Health District spokeswoman Jennifer King said in an email to Canton-Sixes Patch. The head of the fox was sent to the Georgia State Laboratory on Monday. Officials learned the results on Wednesday. “The jogger has begun post rabies exposure treatment, which consists of one shot of rabies immune globulin and four shots of rabies vaccine over a two-week period,” King said. “The dog is current on its rabies vaccinations. Therefore, the only treatment required is a 45-day quarantine.” Just 14 days ago, health officials learned a raccoon that fought two Canton dogs tested positive for rabies. The dogs were vaccinated. Those results came a week to the day that health officials said 11 Georgians were exposed to an unvaccinated rabid dog from Cherokee. Seven came from Cherokee County, three from Pickens County and one from Houston County. And on May 3, a rabid raccoon attacked a dog at Ball Ground residence on Hightower Trail. That dog was current on its vaccinations, too.

Michigan 07/22/11 by Rosemary Parker – So far this summer, 26 rabies cases in animals have been confirmed in Michigan, so officials from the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Community Health (MDCH) and Natural Resources (DNR) are urging residents to protect themselves and their animals against the disease. The disease has shown up for the first time in a woodchuck, in Oakland County, and has also been reported this year in bats in Kent and Barry townships in west Michigan. In a news release from the department, Dr. Dean Sienko, MDCH Interim Chief Medical Executive, cautioned against handling any wild animals and urged people to teach children to never touch wild animals or unfamiliar domestic animals.

Nebraska 07/21/11 by Melanie Wilkinson – There has been a confirmed case of rabies involving a bat in York, according to Christi Payne, animal control officer for the York Police Department, and the Four Corners Health Department. Officials say two domestic cats were exposed to the bat, which was brought in for testing. Dr. Ryan Koch, a veterinarian at Gloystein’s Vet Clinic, said the rabies test on the bat came back positive. The cat “most exposed” had to be euthanized. The owners were given the options of euthanizing the second cat or putting it in quarantine for six months. They opted for the quarantine, which has to take place at a veterinary clinic and will be somewhat expensive as the required time frame is so long. Payne said if the cats had been vaccinated, neither the euthanization or the quarantine would have been necessary.

New York 07/23/11 by Greg Clary – Westchester’s status as the state’s top county for rabies cases was bolstered this week with the discovery of an infected skunk in the village. But health and wildlife officials are reminding residents that there has not been a case of a human contracting rabies in nearly two decades. “The last human rabies case acquired in New York was in 1993,” said Jeffrey Hammond, a spokesman for the state Department of Health. “However, as a precautionary measure, post-exposure treatment has been provided to individuals if they have had contact with a rabid animal.” The Westchester Department of Health issued a rabies alert Friday to Briarcliff Manor residents who may have had contact with the rabid skunk, which was found dead in a Holbrook Lane backyard on July 19. The skunk was sent for testing and was confirmed positive for rabies Thursday. A dog that was up to date on its rabies shots but may have had contact with the skunk was given a rabies booster shot as a precaution, officials said. “Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with this skunk should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said county Acting Commissioner of Health Dr. Cheryl Archbald. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive immediate rabies vaccination.” The county was ranked first in the state through the first five months of 2011 in positive rabies cases before the skunk was found, with 17 cases. Schuyler County, southwest of Syracuse, had the second-most cases with nine and Rockland and Putnam counties had no cases

New York 07/21/11 County health officials are warning residents to be on guard after a rabid raccoon was caught on 20th Street Wednesday. The Niagara County Health Department was notified Thursday that the raccoon did indeed test positive for rabies. The raccoon “had contact with a dog” on 20th Street Wednesday and was subsequently captured by a wildlife rehabilitator and euthanized, according to a release from health officials. It’s the first confirmed rabies case of a “ground animal” in the county this year. Three bats have been confirmed as rabid this year. Any animal bite needs to be reported to the county health department at 439-7444 for investigation.

New York 07/21/11 An Oneida County youth and several family pets are being treated for rabies after being bitten by wild animals in two separate incidents earlier in the week. In each incident, the pets’ rabies vaccinations were up to date. They also received booster shots. In the first incident a Floyd resident found her pet cat cornered by a raccoon with porcupine quills sticking out of its face and body. The raccoon bit the pet before the woman was able to shoot it. After she killed it, the raccoon tested positive for rabies. The following day, a Clinton boy and two pet dogs were chased and bitten by a grey fox. The animal was killed by the boy’s father, but the youth had to receive treatment.

Rhode Island 07/22/11 The executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. may need rabies shots after being bitten by a dog over the weekend. Keith Stokes tells the Newport Daily News that he and his daughter were walking their 8-month-old puppy, Knuckles, near Newport Harbor on Sunday when a pit bull came out of the water and charged the puppy. Stokes says he grabbed the pit bull and held it until its owner came and put it on a leash. He tells the newspaper that he later discovered he had been bitten on the finger. Authorities are looking for the pit bull’s owner to determine if it has had its shots. If they can’t find the dog, Stokes says he may have to undergo treatment for rabies as a precaution.

Texas 07/22/11 Elizabeth Campbell – Veterinarians and state health officials say they are seeing more rabies cases this year than in previous years, especially in north central Texas. During the first six months of this year, the state reported that there are 591 cases of reported rabies, and during the same time period last year there were 387 cases. The number of cases in the north central Texas counties of Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties has almost doubled, with 53 being reported this year compared to 27 last year. A clinic in Alvarado had a veterinarian exposed to rabies after she was bitten by a cat that tested positive for rabies while another of their clients is taking the shots after being bitten by a dog. Officials suspect several reasons for the outbreak — the drought, which is forcing rabid animals like skunks into urban areas looking for water and increased public awareness about the disease. Also, the vets wonder if the hard economic times have people putting off getting their animals vaccinated. “We are seeing an increase in cases statewide as compared to last year’s figures,” said Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Travel Warnings:

India 07/22/11 A total of 115 people have died due to encephalitis in Assam since January this year even as the government sounded an alert and advised all health centres in the state to be on vigil. While 86 died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), 29 others died due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE), joint director of health Abani Kumar Goswami said here today. Twenty districts have been affected by the disease and the total number of people affected by AES was 408, while 157 have tested positive for JE so far, he said. The worst hit was Sibsagar district where 34 people had died due to AES and eight of JE while the total of affected persons are 130. The other affected districts are Sonitpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Kamrup (rural), Barpeta, Morigaon, Kamrup (metro), Darrang, Nalbari, Nagaon, Baksa, Udalguri, Dhemaji, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, Karbi Anglong and North Cachar hills, Goswami said.

Sri Lanka 07/23/11 by Carol Aloysius – The cumulative number of dengue cases has now zoomed to 13,000 leaving 100 dead from the most virulent form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). “There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of one of the worst dengue epidemics, under 2nd Wave of Influenza. Like every new wave of this influenza, this new wave is more virulent than previous ones. However we are doing our best to control its spread and have the necessary technical know- how and medicines at present to meet this new challenge”, Epidemiology sources told The Nation. Colombo district due to its large population continues to lead the rest of the island’s districts in the number of dengue cases and deaths, with nearly 5.000 cases and 44 deaths so far. The congested Colombo Municipal area with its teeming shanty population living in polluted environments that attract the dengue vector had 1805 cumulative number of dengue cases with 18 deaths, the majority being children under five years. “Eighty percent of the cases and deaths are from North Colombo in areas such as Maligawatte, Borella, Wanathamulla, Baseline road , Narahenpitiya, which are the most polluted areas in the city, due to poor solid waste removal, and construction work.


One response to “UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine to receive $1.4 million to study interventional vaccine for Rabies Virus; North Carolina reports first human case of La Crosse Viral Encephalitis this year; California and Wyoming report first human cases of West Nile Virus this year; West Nile Virus reports from California (3), Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania; and Rabies reports from Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, New York (3), Rhode Island, and Texas. Travel Warnings for India, and Sri Lanka.

  1. This is a great site for information not normally found on one websites. It is up to date. Thanks for the information

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