WASHINGTON WOMAN attacked by pack of RACCOONS ~ ILLINOIS WOMAN hospitalized with ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MA, & NC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from OK ~ COYOTE attack in GA ~ MOUNTAIN LION sightings in CA, & IA ~ RABIES reports from CA (2), FL, GA, NY, NC, & OH ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: CAMBODIA reports 56 CHILDREN have died of an UNDIAGNOSED ILLNESS.

Raccoon. Photo by Quartl. Wikimedia Commons.

Washington 07/10/12 seattletimes.com: by Cathy McLain – A woman was attacked by a pack of raccoons near Fort Steilacoom Park Monday afternoon, Lakewood police said. Michaela Lee, 28, was walking home with her leashed dog after jogging through the park about 1:30 p.m., when the raccoons attacked, her boyfriend Shane Bennett said. Her dog, Madison, chased two raccoons up a tree as Lee was leaving the park, said Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler. Lee went to get the dog when more raccoons came out of a bush and chased her. She ran 75 feet before they knocked her down. A witness told police that six or seven raccoons chased her, and that three attacked her for about 15 seconds. Lee had many scratches and was treated for about 16 puncture wounds, into which hospital staff injected antibiotics. Wounds in her arm and leg needed staples and she’s been started on a round of rabies vaccine, although she since has learned the disease is rare in raccoons in the area. – For complete article see http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/07/woman-attacked-by-pack-of-raccoons-suffers-about-100-wounds/

Illinois 07/11/12 nwherald.com: by Lawerence Synett – A Woodstock woman bitten by a tick has been hospitalized with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. The confirmed case is the first in the county since May 2008, when seven tick-transmitted illnesses were reported over a two-week span, according to health department officials. That included five cases of Lyme disease and separate cases of spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. It is unknown when and where the infected tick bit the woman, health department spokeswoman Debra Quackenbush said. The woman’s prior medical history is also unknown. The fever can be severe or possibly fatal if not treated in the first few days of symptoms, even in previously health people. – For complete article see http://www.nwherald.com/2012/07/11/woodstock-woman-hospitalized-with-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever/akbgq0l/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Massachusetts 07/12/12 Easton, Bristol County: The town is recommending organized activities in town playgrounds ,fields and parks be curtailed and soccer leagues and baseball leagues have agreed to end games and practices one hour before sunset after EEE was found in one of the town’s mosquito pools. – See http://www.wcvb.com/health/Eastern-Equine-Encephalitis-detected-in-mosquitoes/-/9848730/15480094/-/dj3ywn/-/index.html

North Carolina 07/11/12 New Hanover County: Officials issued a health alert on Wednesday after a chicken flock tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120711/ARTICLES/120719917/-1/news05?Title=Chicken-tests-positive-for-Eastern-Equine-Encephalitis

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Oklahoma 07/12/12 Tulsa, Tulsa County: Health officials confirm that mosquitoes have begun to test positive for WNV, and a 65-year-old man has been diagnosed with the county’s first human case of the virus. – See http://www.ktul.com/story/19011305/tulsa-confirms-this-years-first-case-of-west-nile-virus

Coyote Attacks:

Georgia 07/11/12 Bogart, Oconee County: A coyote attacked and killed a family’s pet dog and later reappeared at the neighborhood swimming pool on Solitaire Court in the Belfair subdivision. – See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19005772/wild-coyote-attacks-neighborhood-pets

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 07/12/12 Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County: A warning has been posted at the Bob Jones Trail alerting bicyclists, runners and walkers of a mountain lion sighting in the area Wednesday. – See http://www.ksby.com/news/warning-posted-on-popular-bike-and-walking-path-after-mountain-lion-sighting/

Iowa 07/12/12 Des Moines, Polk County: Children at the Norwoodville Community Center day camp were sent inside this morning after a mountain lion sighting was reported nearby in the 3200 block of Broadway Avenue and Northeast 46th Avenue. – See http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2012/07/12/ceputies-investigate-reported-mountain-lion-sighting-in-ne-des-moines/


California 07/12/12 Palm Desert, Riverside County: A bat that was stuck in a wall at a shopping center on Highway 111 on July 3rd has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.mydesert.com/article/20120712/NEWS01/120712011/Dead-bat-found-Coachella-Valley-tests-positive-rabies

California 07/10/12 Pasadena, Los Angeles County: A rabies alert has been issued by county health officials who confirm that 15 bats have tested positive for the virus. – See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/07/rabid-bat-warning-issued-for-pasadena-residents-pets.html

Florida 07/10/11 Wewahitchka, Gulf County: A fox that attacked a pet, the pet’s owner, and sheriff’s deputies before being shot has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wmbb.com/story/18986511/teenager-fights-back-in-rabid-fox-attack

Georgia 07/11/12 newscentralga.com: The Macon Bibb County Health Department Environmental Health Section and Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare offices are seeking the public’s help in locating a dog that bit someone because the animal is believed to have rabies. According to a health department news release, two Bibb County residents were bitten by a white poodle mix, possibly crossed with Bichon Frise, over the July 4th holiday weekend.  The dog in question bit a person who was considering taking it in as a pet and also bit a neighbor’s child. They decided not to keep the animal. The dog was then given away to a woman in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Zebulon Road sometime between July 7 and July 10, 2012. The identity of the woman is unknown. The release states the woman stated she would give the dog to a Jones County animal rescue group if she decided not to keep it. Jones County authorities are aware of the situation and have not yet located the dog. If the dog is not located, the adult and child bitten will be asked to immediately begin the post exposure rabies prevention vaccinations. According to the health department, rabies can be prevented by post-exposure vaccination. Once a person has rabies, there is no treatment and it is usually fatal. The Georgia Rabies Manual requires that dogs, cats and ferrets be quarantined for 10 days following a bite, regardless of whether they have current rabies vaccination or not. If the animal is alive at the end of the 10 day period, then the person bitten would not need the preventative shots. This quarantine process is to protect the health of the person exposed. If you have any information regarding the dog, you’re asked to contact Donna Cadwell at 478-749-0121 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM or e-mail anytime to dwcadwell@dhr.state.ga.us.

New York 07/11/12 New Rochelle, Westchester County: A rabies alert has been issued “to residents who may have had contact with a stray kitten or cat any time since early June on the grounds of the New York Athletic Club and/or the Winged Foot Day Camp,” which are both in New Rochelle and border Pelham Manor’s Shore Park. A small grey kitten that was on the grounds in early June has has tested positive for rabies, and it may have exposed other kittens or cats nearby,” said department spokesperson Caren Halbfinger in a news release. A resident took the cat home June 6 and was caring for it before it began acting aggressively last week. – See http://newrochelle.dailyvoice.com/news/rabies-alert-issued-new-rochelle-residents

North Carolina 07/11/12 Mount Holly, Gaston County: A fox killed by two dogs in the 300 block of Oakwood Drive in the Dickson Heights subdivision has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.gastongazette.com/news/fox-73165-gaston-rabies.html

Ohio 07/11/12 Springfield, Clark County: A red bat found in the historic Ridgewood neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wdtn.com/dpp/news/local/clark/rabid-bat-discovered-in-springfield#.T_-rCvWF7WB

Travel Warnings:

Cambodia 07/06/12 who.int: World Health Organization Global Alert and Response: The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia is conducting active investigation into the cause of a recent undiagnosed syndrome that has caused illness and deaths among children in the country. Preliminary findings of the investigation identified a total of 74 cases that were hospitalized from April to 5 July 2012. Of these, 57 cases (including 56 deaths), presented a common syndrome of fever, respiratory and neurological signs, which is now the focus of the investigation. The majority of the identified cases to date were under three years old. Most of them were from the southern and central parts of the country and received treatment at Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital, which is a reference pediatric hospital. Despite all efforts, many of the children died within 24 hours of admission. Available samples have been tested at the Institute Pasteur in Cambodia. Although a causative agent remains to be formally identified, all these samples were found negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS, and Nipah.

The Ministry of Health was first alerted to this by Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital in Phnom Penh, where the majority of the cases were hospitalized. The Ministry of Health notified WHO about this event through the IHR notification mechanism as it met the criteria for notification of any event where the underlying agent or disease or mode of transmission is not formally identified. WHO and partners are assisting the Ministry of Health with this event which focuses on hospitalized cases, early warning surveillance data, laboratory data and field investigations.  While this event is being actively investigated, the Government is also looking at other diseases occurring in the country, including dengue, hand-foot-mouth and Chikungunya. Parents have been advised to take their children to hospital if they identify any signs of unusual illness. The Government is also reinforcing awareness of good hygiene practices to the public, which includes frequent washing of hands.

Update 07/09/12: Based on the latest laboratory results, a significant proportion of the samples tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV-71), which causes hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD). The EV-71 virus has been known to generally cause severe complications amongst some patients. Additionally, a number of other pathogens, including dengue and streptococcus suis were identified in some of the samples. The samples were found to be negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS and Nipah. Further investigations into matching the clinical, laboratory and epidemiological information are ongoing, and are likely to be concluded in a few days.


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