PENNSYLVANIA HUNTER exposed to RABIES by field dressing a DEER ~ RHODE ISLAND officials concerned about unidentified man showing a possibly RABID BAT to PEOPLE in a public square ~ other RABIES reports from FLORIDA, GEORGIA, MARYLAND, NEW JERSEY, OKLAHOMA, & VIRGINIA.

Whitetail Deer. Photo by Wisconsin DNR.

Pennsylvania 02/02/12 state.pa.us: News Release – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that a Lancaster County hunter has undergone post-exposure rabies shots after harvesting and field dressing a deer on Jan. 20, in Valley Township, Chester County, that ultimately tested positive for rabies. “The hunter contacted us about his concerns that the deer was unfit for human consumption,” said John Veylupek, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO).  “The hunter said that he saw the deer standing in a creek, straining and growling.  He thought there was a coyote nearby from the sounds the deer was making.  “After gathering information from the hunter, as well as samples for testing, it was determined that the deer was rabid. Because the hunter had scratches on his hands and had field dressed the deer without wearing gloves, we considered this a human exposure and urged him to contact his doctor about post-exposure rabies shots.”

Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, reiterated the agency’s long-standing recommendations that hunters and trappers avoid harvesting animals that appear sick and to wear rubber or latex gloves when field dressing any mammal. “All mammals are susceptible to rabies and can spread the virus in the right circumstances,” Dr. Cottrell said. “To prevent the spread of wildlife diseases, we encourage hunters and trappers to contact the Game Commission about any animals that they encounter that may appear to be sick.  Also, when field dressing any mammal, it is critical to wear rubber or latex gloves to prevent exposure to not just rabies, but also to other disease organisms.”

Rhode Island 02/02/12 wpri.com: by Carl Sisson – An unusual sight in downtown Providence last week as an unidentified man was in Kennedy Plaza, showing off a bat he had in a box. It happened around 8:45 in the morning on January 23rd. “This bat, we don’t know if it had rabies or not”, says Peter Hanney, Department of Health spokesperson. “So out of an abundance of caution we’re asking people to please give us a call at the Department of Health.” Health officials were first alerted to the incident by a health care provider who treated two people who came in contact with the bat. “Two individuals were treated, one for a bat bite and the other for suspected rabies exposure. They informed the health care provider that they received this from a bat in a box from an individual in Kennedy Plaza,” adds Hanney.

Bat bite.

Health officials say they’re concerned about the incident because five percent of all bats have rabies and bat rabies is extremely contagious. “There’s different types of rabies, and the bat strain is really contagious. It doesn’t need to be from a bite. It can be just from the saliva if it gets into any mucous membranes or small cuts that you may have on you, you can contract rabies that way too. left untreated it is deadly,” says Hanney. The unidentified man who originally had the bat in a box is in his 50’s, about six feet tall with a beard and he was wearing glasses at the time. Anyone who may have had contact with the bat are asked to call the Department of Health at 222-2577 or after hours at 272-5952, for a risk assessment.

Florida 02/02/12 West Bay, Bay County: A bobcat that was killed by a dog just south of the Highway 79 Buchanan Bridge has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/Bobcat_Tests_Positive_for_Rabies_138488834.html

Georgia 02/02/12 Maysville, Jackson County: As it was happening, Raymond Parks didn’t think he’d be around later to tell the story. He was rushed and attacked by a 900 pound animal. The cow put a gash on his head and threw him into a barbed wire fence.  “I thought she would kill me before she’d leave me alone,” Parks said.  As the cow head-butted him and broke some of his ribs, Parks went for his shotgun. He landed three blasts on the animal, but it didn’t die. Instead, it slowly walked away and laid down, where a vet arrived several days later to put it down. Tests have now proved the animal had rabies, a rarity in cattle. Most rabies cases are seen in meat-eaters, or smaller animals like raccoons. Parks’ Maysville farm is just down the road from where a rabid bobcat was discovered a few days ago. Jackson County has now seen three cases of rabies in January, a month that didn’t see one case in 2011. – For complete article see http://www.11alive.com/News/Odd/225625/186/Rabid-cow-attacks-farmer

Maryland 02/02/12 Cambridge, Dorchester County: A large, gray cat that bit two women and was found in the 2200-block of Hudson Road has tested positive for rabies, the Dorchester County Health Department said Wednesday. The two women who were bitten by the cat during the past several days are now undergoing post-exposure rabies treatment at Dorchester General Hospital, according to Paul Galanek of the Dorchester County Health Department. Galanek issued a warning about the large, gray cat roaming in the area near Horn Point and Hudson roads. He said it is important that anyone who has had contact with the cat, or whose pets have had contact with the cat, to contact Kim Keene at the DCHD by calling 443-521-4996. See http://www.stardem.com/news/local_news/article_0e94d7f8-b92f-529a-b5db-d1cd5f99f8f4.html

New Jersey 02/02/12 Middletown, Monmouth County: Two raccoons that were in fights with neighborhood dogs have tested positive for rabies. See http://www.app.com/article/20120202/NJNEWS/302010113/Middletown-racoons-test-positive-rabies?odyssey=nav|head

Oklahoma 02/02/12 Purcell, McClain County: A second confirmed rabid skunk has been killed in this area. Licensed Oklahoma Veterinarian Dr. Larry Prime shot the skunk in his carport last week. Prime lives four miles south and 2 1/2 miles west of Purcell. That makes two skunks that have tested positive for rabies in the Purcell area in recent weeks. The other rabid skunk was killed behind the Purcell Animal Shelter earlier this month. See http://www.purcellregister.com/articles/2012/02/02/news/doc4f295dc45b816723646932.txt

Virginia 02/02/12 Williamsburg: Health officials are asking for the public’s help locating a cat that bit a person in Ford’s Colony on Tuesday. The cat is large, black and white with a white stripe down its nose, according to a news release from the Peninsula Health District. The cat looks healthy. If it isn’t found, the person who was bitten will have to undergo shots to prevent rabies. If the cat can be found, it will be confined to its owner’s home for 10 days. Anyone who may have seen the cat is being asked to call 757-253-4813. After hours, call 757-253-1800.

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