New Jersey police look for Racoon that attacked two people and a dog; Montana game warden says sheep rancher justified in killing Wolves; Alabama confirms first human case of West Nile Virus; Mississippi confirms 15th human case of West Nile Virus; Wisconsin has two more Horses down with EEE; and Rabies reports from Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia. Travel Warnings for Mt. Gambier, SA, Australia.

Raccoon. Photo by Darkone. Wikimedia Commons.

New Jersey 08/22/11 patch.com: by Eileen Oldfield – Hillsborough Police and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center are looking for a (very likely) rabid racoon that bit two people and a dog on Meadowbrook Drive Sunday, according to the Township’s Health Department. “There was a racoon reported yesterday (Sunday),” Deputy Health Officer Siobhan Spano said. “It bit two people and was fighting with a dog, and ran away into the underbrush. The police department and St. Hubert’s were out there, but they were not able to find it.” Both people were treated for post-rabies exposure at a local hospital, though Spano did not know which hospital treated them. The search for the animal is ongoing as well, though she noted the disease would likely kill the racoon before it is found.

Montana 08/23/11 missoulian.com: by Perry Backus – For the second time in five weeks, a sheep rancher shot and killed wolves threatening his livestock within 300 yards of his home just northwest of Hamilton. Julie Schram said her husband, Dave, knew something was wrong early Monday morning when the couple’s older Australian shepherd refused to go outside. “He just went stiff and wouldn’t go out the door,” she said. “Dave knew that something was going on.” From a window, Schram spotted a black wolf standing a few feet away from a large pile of rocks where 10 goats and some sheep had taken refuge. “The goats were all standing together facing the wolf and the sheep were on top of the hill,” she said. “They were obviously scared.” Schram’s husband grabbed his .22-250 rifle and ran to the nearby corral. “The spooky thing for me is the black wolf looked right at him and then continued on with what it was doing,” Schram said. “If it had been a coyote, it would have been long gone. It didn’t show any fear.” Schram’s husband killed the black wolf with a single shot. He then spotted a lighter-colored wolf about 50 feet farther away. When it turned broadside to him, he shot and killed it, too. The black wolf was male. The lighter-colored wolf was a female. Both appeared to be yearlings. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Joe Jaquith investigated the incident and said it appeared to be a legitimate shooting. “The landowner acted according to the law,” Jaquith said. “As far as I’m concerned, the investigation is pretty much done.” The two wolves will be turned over to a FWP wolf biologist. (For complete article go to http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_2c1a7d4c-cd45-11e0-92ef-001cc4c002e0.html )

Mobile County

Alabama 08/22/11 wkrg.com: Dr. Bernard Eichold, Mobile County Health Officer, has been notified of laboratory results indicating a confirmed case of human West Nile virus (WNV), which is a form of mosquito-borne encephalitis. The case is from the 36617 ZIP code area and involves a female in her 60s. She is currently being treated at a local hospital and is recovering. This is the first human case reported in Mobile County this year.

Hinds County

Mississippi 08/22/11 ms.gov: News Release –

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one new human case of West Nile virus in Hinds County, bringing the state’s total to 15 for 2011.

Wisconsin 08/22/11 myfoxwausau.com: The state veterinarian is repeating a warning for horse owners to get their animals vaccinated after a mosquito-borne illness struck two horses in north-central Wisconsin. The disease – known as Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE – was found in a 7-year-old American quarter horse in Price County and a 6-year-old Belgian mare in Taylor County. Both horses showed signs of neurological disease, and neither had been vaccinated for EEE.

Connecticut 08/22/11 theday.com: A raccoon found in the area of Upper Walnut Hill Road has tested positive for rabies, Ledge Light Health District announced this morning. The raccoon possibly had contact with some dogs in the area, but there was no human contact, Stephen Mansfield, deputy director of health at Ledge Light, said. Notices were being posted in the neighborhood today to warn residents about the presence of rabies in the area, he added. For information, call Ledge Light at (860) 448-4882 or the Waterford-East Lyme animal control officer at (860) 442-9451.

Illinois 08/22/11 suntimes.com: A bat found dead in the backyard of a southwest suburban home was Will County’s second confirmed case of wildlife rabies in a week and the fifth this year. The bat was found behind a home on Long Run Drive in Homer Glen on Thursday, and was taken to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health’s Chicago laboratory complex for brain tissue analysis. The Will County Health Dept. confirmed the rabies diagnosis Friday, a release from the department said. Two people, a dog and a cat live on the Long Run Drive property but there was apparently no human exposure. One of the animals was given a rabies booster, the release said. The incident marks the second confirmation of rabies in seven days. A bat found beneath a tree in Braidwood was confirmed rabid on Aug. 15.  Will is one of 16 Illinois counties to report confirmed wildlife rabies activity during 2011. At least five other area counties are included — Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry. The state has identified at least 27 wildlife rabies cases through Aug. 19, including 26 involving bats.

West Virginia 08/22/11 news.-register.net: by Shelley Hanson – The U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct its annual rabies bait drops via airplane Sept. 11-18 in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle . . . Howard Gamble, health department administrator, said since 2007, the Northern Panhandle has seen nine positive cases of rabies. Four of those cases were found in raccoons in Ohio County.

Travel Warnings:

Australia 08/24/11 adelaidenow.com.au: by Michael Milnes – The main water supply of SA’s (Southern Australia) second-largest city has been cut off after the water was found to be contaminated with the parasite giardia. Mt Gambier’s water supply has been switched to treated water from a bore since the giardia organism was found in a sample of water taken from the lake on August 11. Giardia is a type of gastroenteritis caused by a tiny parasite, giardia lambia, that lives in the bowel. The most common symptoms of giardiasis are diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps. The illness may last from a few days to weeks. SA Water South East service delivery manager Janina Morrison said follow-up water samples collected at the Blue Lake had been clear of giardia. “However Mt Gambier will remain on treated bore water until this Friday while essential maintenance work is carried out,” she said.

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