Dead PORPOISE on MAINE beach potentially exposed at least four people to BRUCELLOSIS ~ MOUNTAIN LION sightings in CALIFORNIA & NEBRASKA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from AZ, LA, MA, & PA ~ RABIES reports from CA, IL, NY, PA, & VA.

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Photo by Sebastiaan Koreman. Wikimedia Commons.

CDC Report:

Maine 01/28/12 CDC-MMWR June 29, 2012/61(25);461-463 – In January of this year a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) carcass was recovered on the coast of southern Maine by a rescue team affiliated with a marine mammal facility. On January 29, a necropsy of the porpoise was performed by a faculty member, two students, and a community volunteer. All wore gloves and gowns but worked without respiratory protection. The necropsy included removal of necrotic tissue from the uterine horn and the use of an electric saw with an oscillating blade to cut the skull to evaluate the brain. A swab of the uterine horn tissue was sent to a laboratory. A cultured organism had characteristics of Brucella.

Stranded harbor porpoise.

On February 10, Maine CDC was notified of the positive Brucella culture and an investigation was initiated to determine the potential for exposure among persons who had handled the porpoise and/or the specimens. The four persons who performed the necropsy were assessed to be at high risk. As of June 26, 2012, none of the four persons had seroconverted or become ill. The potential for human infection and illness highlights the need to develop standard protocols for preventing exposures during the handling of marine mammals. – For further details see

Mountain Lion sightings:

California 06/28/12 Redwood City, San Mateo County: A mountain lion and a cub were seen on Wednesday at Stulsaft Park. Officers have issued safety warnings to residents and signs have been posted. – See

Nebraska 06/27/12 York, York County: Sheriff Dale Radcliff has confirmed a mountain lion sighting about two blocks north of York Middle School. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Sentinel chickens.

Arizona 06/27/12 Dome Valley, Yuma County: WNV activity has been detected in the valley for the first time this year. A mosquito sample was collected from the Highway 95 bridge area over the Gila River. In addition, a blood sample from a sentinel chicken flock in the same area was positive for the virus. – See

Louisiana 06/28/12 New Orleans, Orleans Parish: Aerial and truck mosquito spraying will increase in urban areas after WNV was found in mosquitoes collected in the parish. – See

Massachusetts 06/28/12 Roslindale, Suffolk County: Boston Public Health reported today that a WNV positive mosquito pool was found in Roslindale. – See

Pennsylvania 06/28/12 Mahanoy, Schuylkill County: Mosquitoes collected in Mahanoy Township have tested positive for WNV. – See


California 06/28/12 Placer County: An injured bat found in South Placer County earlier this month has tested positive for rabies and residents are urged to be certain their pets have been vaccinated. – See

Illinois 06/28/12 Joliet, Will County: A four-year-old boy is receiving rabies shots after touching a bat while playing in leaves outside his home. – See

New York 06/28/12 Mount Kisco, Westchester County: A stray cat that smelled of skunk and was attacking tires at an auto dealership on Kisco Avenue has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a female gray tabby with black stripes and a white belly and paws. Anyone who had contact with the cat should seek immediate medical advice. – See

Pennsylvania 06/29/12 Fell, Lackawanna County: An injured raccoon that was being cared for at a home on Morse Avenue in Simpson has tested positive for rabies. Health officials fear at least one resident of Fell may have been exposed to the virus. The incident is being investigated. – See

Virginia 06/28/12 Williamsburg: A teenager was bitten by a dog in Williamsburg. Health officials hope someone knows the man who was walking the large, older black dog in the area of Hamilton Drive and Page Street on Wednesday morning. They stress the dog won’t be taken away but will need to be confined to home for 10 days. If the dog isn’t found, the 13-year-old boy, who was bitten on his hand, may have to undergo rabies shots. Anyone who has seen an animal that fits this description in this area is asked to contact the Peninsula Health District–Williamsburg Area Environmental Health Office at 757-253-4813. After hours, call Williamsburg-James City County Animal Control: 757-253-1800. State law requires dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies between 3 and 4 months of age and thereafter. A child in Newport News is having to undergo the shots because a dog that bit her at a yard sale hasn’t been found.


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