Capital of SOUTH DAKOTA invaded by SKUNKS ~ CDC reports on national RABIES VACCINE shortage ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, FLx2, IL, LA, NM, SD, & VA ~ RABIES reports CA, GA, NJ, & NY.

Photo by State of Michigan.

South Dakota 09/11/12 by John M. Glionna – Residents of South Dakota’s state capital are holding their noses this fall and it has nothing to do with politics. The city of Pierre is being invaded by skunks. Animal control officials say that 60 of the furry little stinkers have been caught since June and in a town of 15,000. That translates to one possible skunk encounter for every 250 residents. But there’s an even worse danger: skunks are often rabid. “Skunks are the reservoir of rabies out here on the Great Plains,” South Dakota state epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger told the Los Angeles Times. “Skunks actually present a two-fold menace. Rabies is the biggest danger. Then the spraying. Oh, and they bite, too.” So far this year, 45 rabid animals have been caught in South Dakota, 25 of them skunks. Though the state has not had a case of rabies since 1970, officials remain vigilant. – For complete article see,0,7808011.story

National 09/11/12 Vaccine Update – Current Situation

  • Rabies vaccine for pre-exposure use is available only from wholesale distributors who have existing stocks of RabAvert vaccine from Novartis.
  • At this time, there are no limitations in the supply of rabies immune globulin or vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
  • Sanofi Pasteur, maker of IMOVAX (Rabies Vaccine), is currently unable to directly supply rabies vaccine for pre-exposure vaccination.
  • Sanofi Pasteur will continue to supply rabies vaccine for PEP to health care providers who are treating patients who have had documented rabies exposures.
  • Novartis, makers of RabAvert (Rabies Vaccine), is also currently unable to directly supply rabies vaccine for pre-exposure vaccination.
  • Additional lots of RabAvert and IMOVAX are expected to be released in the coming months. These lots are expected to return supplies to normal levels.
  • There are ongoing discussions among federal, state, and local public health personnel to continue evaluation of the current supply of rabies biologics and review additional strategies as necessary. – For additional information see

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 09/12/12 Sacramento and Yolo counties: Sacramento County: 6 human cases, 461 dead birds, 447 mosquito samples, 24 sentinel animals, 2 horses have tested positive for WNV to date. Yolo County: 3 human cases,  90 dead birds, 142 mosquito samples, 1 horse, 3 sentinel animalshave tested positive for WNV to date. – See

Florida 09/12/12 Leon and Gadsden counties: In Leon County, two horses kept within a mile of each other in the Braden area near Highway 20 have tested positive for EEE in the last two weeks. Yesterday, another horse in the Woodville area tested positive for EEE. In addition, neighboring Gadsden County officials on Monday confirmed their first human case of WNV this year. – See

Florida 09/11/12 Loxahatchee Groves, Palm Beach County: Local officials have issued an alert after a horse kept in the 800 block of Hyde Park Road tested positive for WNV and was euthanized. So far this year, WNV has been found in 20 counties and has infected 33 humans. – See

Illinois 09/12/12 Cook County: Public health officials announced Wednesday that WNV has claimed the life of a person between the ages of 70-79 who lived in the county’s southern district. – See

Louisiana 09/12/12 Public Health – On Friday, LDHH officials confirmed 31 new human cases of WNV bringing the state’s total to 176 so far this year, including 10 fatalities. – See

New Mexico 09/11/12 Bernalillo County: A 76-year-old man has become the state’s first WNV-related fatality. – See

South Dakota 09/12/12 Update – Health officials confirm 144 human cases of WNV have been reported statewide so far this year, including two deaths. In addition, 30 blood donors, 9 horses, 3 birds, and 77 mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV. – For information regarding counties involved and other data see

Virginia 09/12/12 Update – VDH officials confirm 9 human cases of WNV including 4 in the northwest region, 2 in the northern region, two in the central region, and 1 in the southwest region. There has been one death in an older adult residing in the northwest region. – See


California 09/11/12 Los Angeles County: Public health officials confirm there have been 45 bats have tested positive for rabies so far this year. The previous record of 38 rabid bats was set last year. Typically, there are only about 10 cases a year reported. The reason for the increase is unclear. – For complete article with tips for reducing risks see

Georgia 09/11/12 Canton, Cherokee County: A stray cat that scratched a woman at the Cherokee South Apartments off Marietta Highway on September 2nd has tested positive for rabies. Health officials are searching for others who may have been exposed to the virus. The cat is described as a black-and-white shorthaired female. – See

New Jersey 09/11/12 Winslow Township, Camden County: A skunk found in the Sicklerville section of town on September 5th has tested positive for rabies. The skunk may have come in contact with a vaccinated dog, but there are no known human exposures. – See

New York 09/11/12 Black Brook, Clinton County: A raccoon shot by a resident on Thursday in the vicinity of Dry Bridge Road has tested positive for rabies. – See


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