MINNESOTA triathlete bitten 25 times by OTTER in northern lake ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, MS, NY (2), & TX (fatality) ~ RABIES reports from AR, MD, NY, NC (2), & SC ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 23, 2012.

Otter. Photo by Keven Law. Wikimedia Commons.

Minnesota 07/15/12 therepublic.com: A veteran triathlete had to get rabies shots after she was attacked and bitten 25 times by an otter in a northern Minnesota lake. Leah Prudhomme, 33, of Anoka, was doing a regular 1.5-mile training swim in Island Lake, 17 miles north of Duluth, on Wednesday evening. As she passed by a bog on the last stretch, she felt something bite her ankle to the bone: an otter. She screamed for help as her father and young children watched from the shore. Prudhomme sustained 25 bites — some more than 2 inches deep — before her father could rescue her in a boat about seven minutes later. “It had a gray head, little beaded eyes, and was very agile in the water. … It would just like latch onto my leg and latch onto my thigh,” Prudhomme said. At St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, she got shots for rabies and tetanus, plus antibiotics. She got more rabies shots back home in the Twin Cities on Saturday.

Photo by Alan Pennington. Wikimedia Commons.

The rare attack baffled experts who surmise the otter had rabies or was a mother protecting its young. “I’ve never seen or heard of it before,” said Mike Scott, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Duluth. “We’ve got otters everywhere … lakes, streams. Most times, (swimmers) wouldn’t even know it. Otters usually stay away.” Prudhomme said she’s thankful she wore her wet suit, which was shredded in the attack but likely saved her from more extensive injuries. “My wetsuit tells the tale best because there’s just claw marks and chunks missing and lots of bites all over the wetsuit,” she said. “It’s pretty much destroyed now.” Prudhomme also said she still plans to compete in a triathlon on the same lake next Sunday. Fortunately, the swimming portion is set to take place on the other side of the lake. “I’m scared, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to let get the best of you,” she said. “It’s not like I’ll be bitten by another otter.”

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Sacramento County

California 07/16/12 Sacramento County: Risk of WNV continues to be high in South Sacramento County especially in the areas of Wilton and Elk Grove. Officials confirmed that 50 mosquito samples tested positive for WNV. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/138908c3653d96a9

Jones County

Mississippi 07/16/12 Jones County: The state’s fourth human case of WNV this year has been confirmed in Jones County. The state Department of Health reported the new laboratory-confirmed WNV case today. So far this year, cases have been reported in Lauderdale, Hancock, Lincoln and Jones counties, according to the Health Department. Mississippi had 52 West Nile virus cases and five deaths last year. – See http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20120716/NEWS/120716021/West-Nile-virus-case-confirmed-Jones-County?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

Nassau County

New York 07/16/12 Massapequa, Nassau County: A mosquito carrying WNV has been found in a trap in Massapequa according to the Department of Health. In total, the virus has been detected in mosquitoes at 4 trap locations in Nassau County including Bayville, Lakeview and Mineola. – See http://massapequa.patch.com/articles/west-nile-virus-found-in-massapequa-mosquito-trap

Rockland County

New York 07/16/12 Rockland County: Nine more mosquito samples collected have tested positive for WNV – bringing the total so far to 15, the highest level this early in the season since the virus appeared more than a decade ago. All of the mosquito samples were collected by the Rockland Department of Health during the week of July 2. They were tested by the state Department of Health and results were announced today. Four of the insects were found in Orangetown, two each in Ramapo and Clarkstown and one in Haverstraw. – See http://www.lohud.com/article/20120716/NEWS03/307160067/West-Nile-Rockland-seeing-highest-level-virus-carrying-mosquitoes-early-none-far-Westchester

Dallas County

Texas 07/16/12 Dallas, Dallas County: The city of Dallas confirmed Monday that one person has died after contracting WNV. In a news conference, city officials announced the man was in his 60s and lived in the 75204 zip code near East Dallas. They also said they are fearful of another severe outbreak such as the one in 2006, when 104 people in Dallas County were infected and four died from the virus. So far this summer, there have been 16 human cases of WNV in Dallas County. – See http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Dallas-Reports-First-Fatality-from-West-Nile-Virus-162602056.html


Arkansas 07/13/12 Little Rock, Pulaski County: The management of Albert Pike apartments will have to appear in court after bats were found inside tenant’s rooms and the problem was not corrected. Little Rock code enforcement confirmed one of those bats tested positive for rabies. – See http://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext?nxd_id=560492

Maryland 07/13/12 Chevy Chase, Montgomery County: A man reportedly was bitten twice by a fox in the Village of Martin’s Additions on Wednesday and was taken to a hospital for precautionary rabies shots. The fox has not been located. See – http://chevychase.patch.com/articles/unpleasant-fox-encounter-in-martin-s-additions

New York 07/13/12 Onondaga County: Three raccoons have tested positive for rabies, prompting the county Health Department to warn the public not to touch or feed wild animals. The rabid raccoons were located near Cold Brook Road in the town of Spafford, Barker Street in the town of Otisco and Shea Road in the town of Pompey, according to the Health Department. – See http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/07/three_raccoons_in_onondaga_cou.html

North Carolina 07/14/12 Farmville, Pitt County: A Farmville family had to have its pet dog euthanized Friday.  According to officials, the unvaccinated dog was bitten by a raccoon that tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.reflector.com/news/rabies-found-racoon-1136567

North Carolina 07/13/12 Denton, Davidson County: A dead raccoon found has become the fourth reported case of rabies in the county this year, according to the health department. The raccoon was found in a fenced-in backyard with four dogs. Two of the dogs were properly vaccinated and received booster shots. The other two dogs’ vaccinations had expired, and they were euthanized. No person was exposed. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20120713/News/307139976

South Carolina 07/13/12 Horry County: A bat found in the county has tested positive for rabies, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. A person was bitten by the bat. DHEC does not comment on medical treatment victims may be receiving, but it is standard practice for people bitten by rabid animals to undergo immediate medical treatment. “In this case, the victim was aware of the bat bite,” said Sue Ferguson, with DHEC. “However, bats have small teeth that might leave marks not easily seen. Some situations require medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. If you awaken and find a bat in your room, often referred to as ‘overnighting,’ or if you see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, seek medical advice and have the bat tested.” According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the recent human rabies cases in the U.S. have been caused by exposure to rabid bats. – See http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=776112#.UASAEfUt7WA

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending June 23, 2012:

Published June 29, 2012/ 61(25); ND-339-ND-352

Anaplasmosis . . . 21 . . . New York (17), Rhode Island (2), Virginia (2),

Babesiosis . . . 5 . . . New York (5),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Florida,  

Ehrlichiosis . . . 11 . . . Maine, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee (2), Virginia (5),

Giardiasis . . . 117 . . . Arizona, Arkansas (2), California (20), District of Columbia, Florida (22), Idaho (2), Iowa (2), Maine (3), Maryland (4), Montana (3), Nebraska (6), New York (26), Ohio (15), Rhode Island, Vermont, (3) Virginia (2),

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 4 . . . Indiana (3), Virginia

Lyme Disease . . .  137. . .  Connecticut, Florida (5), Maryland (11), Pennsylvania (76), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (9), Virginia (31),

Q Fever (Chronic) . . . 1 . . . Nebraska, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 20. . . Alabama (4), Rhode Island (2), Texas (2), Vermont, Virginia (11),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1. . . Indiana,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 24 . . . Alabama (2), Indiana, Tennessee (5), Virginia (16),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Montana.


2 responses to “MINNESOTA triathlete bitten 25 times by OTTER in northern lake ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, MS, NY (2), & TX (fatality) ~ RABIES reports from AR, MD, NY, NC (2), & SC ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 23, 2012.

  1. Hi Jerry. Vere strange this story with the otter, the animal doesn’t seem normal..

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