MAINE officials issue RABIES alert ~ Map by Yale School of Public Health pinpoints LYME DISEASE risk areas in eastern U.S. ~ RABIES reports from GEORGIA, MINNESOTA, & VIRGINIA (2) ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending January 21, 2012.

Maine 02/03/12 maine.gov: News Release – With the addition of two foxes in the same York County neighborhood testing positive for rabies, the increased number of rabies cases in the first month of 2012 has prompted the Maine Center for Disease Control and the Maine Department of Agriculture to remind people to be cautious around wild animals and to vaccinate their pets. In January 2012, 11 cases of rabies have been confirmed, while in 2011, only one animal tested positive for the virus. Rabid animals have been reported in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford and York counties. “The uncharacteristically warm winter weather that we’ve been experiencing and the lack of significant snowfall may be contributing to the increase by enabling wild animals to roam more freely,” said Dr. Don Hoenig, State Veterinarian with the Maine Department of Agriculture. See http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=DHS+Press+Releases&id=349481&v=article

National 02/03/12 newsday.com: by Holly Ramer – Researchers who spent three years dragging sheets of fabric through the woods to snag ticks have created a detailed map they claim could improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. The map, which pinpoints areas of the eastern United States where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease, is part of a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Though the areas highlighted as high-risk likely won’t surprise anyone familiar with the disease, the research also showed where the disease likely is spreading, and it turned up some surprising information about the rate at which ticks are infected with the bacteria that causes it, researchers said.

The map shows a clear risk of Lyme disease across much of the Northeast, from Maine to northern Virginia. Researchers also identified a distinct high-risk region in the upper Midwest, including most of Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and a sliver of northern Illinois. Areas highlighted as “emerging risk” regions include the Illinois-Indiana border, the New YorkVermont border, southwestern Michigan and eastern North Dakota.

Dr. Maria Diuk-Wasser

“The key value is identifying areas where the risk for Lyme disease is the highest, so that should alert the public and the clinicians and the public health agencies in terms of taking more precautions and potential interventions,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Maria Diuk-Wasser of the Yale School of Public Health. “In areas that are low risk, a case of Lyme disease is not impossible but it’s highly unlikely, so the clinician should be considering other diagnoses.” – For complete article see http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/new-map-pinpoints-lyme-disease-risk-areas-1.3501739

Georgia 02/03/12 Gainesville, Hall County: Local officials confirm that a skunk in north Hall and a raccoon in east Hall have tested positive for rabies. The animals came in contact with dogs in the Indian Oak Point and Cedar Creek Road areas. See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=245462

Minnesota 02/03/12 Moorhead, Clay County: Police are asking for help finding a dog that bit a woman in the 1200 block of 15 ½ Street North to determine if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. The animal is described as possibly a white American Bulldog with brown spots weighing about 70 lbs. See http://www.valleynewslive.com/story/16671469/dog-bite-help

Virginia 02/03/12 Hampton: Health officials confirm a raccoon that attacked a dog in the Wythe area tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/hampton/rabid-raccoon-bites-dog-in-hampton

Virginia 02/03/12 Russell County: A skunk captured in the Ridgewood Subdivision has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wcyb.com/news/30376160/detail.html

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending January 21, 2012:

Published January 27, 2012/ 61(03); ND-30-ND-43

Anaplasmosis . . . 2 . . . Georgia, New York,

Babesiosis . . . 1 . . . New York,

Giardiasis . . . 111 . . . Alabama, Arkansas (2), California (29), Florida (19), Idaho, Iowa (3), Maryland (7), Michigan (3), Missouri (6), Montana, Nebraska (2), New Hampshire, New York (15), Ohio (18), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania,

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 2 . . . Georgia, Maryland,  

Lyme Disease . . .  113. . . California (7), Delaware (2), Florida (4), Georgia, Maryland (3), New Jersey (58), New York (9), Ohio, Pennsylvania (20), Vermont, Virginia (3), West Virginia (4),

Rabies (Animal) . . . 14. . . Alabama, Florida (4), New Mexico, New York (2), Oklahoma (4), West Virginia (2),

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 4 . . . Alabama, North Carolina (3).

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