MASSACHUSETTS man attacked by BOBCAT ~ WYOMING rancher survives attack by GRIZZLY BEAR ~ ALASKA officials warn of TULAREMIA in SNOWSHOE HARES ~ NEBRASKA 4-year-old contracts TULAREMIA from TICK bite ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx2, IN, MI, SD, & WI ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, MD, MA, MN, MO, OKx2, TX, & VAx2.

Bobcat. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bobcat. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Massachusetts 06/20/13 by Steven H. Foskett Jr. – A (Holden resident) said he was able to fend off an attack by a bobcat Monday evening without suffering serious injury. Michael Votruba of 441 Causeway St. said he got home from work Monday, got out of his truck, and went back into the passenger side to grab his things when he saw an animal scurry across the yard and into a small alleyway between the carport and his house. He said he went back to the driveway and could see the animal coming out; it started growling, he said. He said it appeared to be a bobcat, and was looking straight at him. Mr. Votruba said the cat, which he estimated weighed around 25 to 30 pounds, started approaching him. He happened to be carrying his pistol, and drew his weapon. He said he took a couple of steps back, but then fell backward into the yard. That’s when the bobcat jumped on his leg. He was able to get the cat off his leg, get up and run a few steps, but when he turned around it jumped on his chest. He said he grabbed the cat by the neck, threw it to the ground, and shot it twice in the driveway. But the cat wasn’t done yet, and jumped back on his chest, he said. He fired two more shots, and the cat ran to the carport. His girlfriend, Justine Lapierre, was able to get his rifle, which was locked in the house. When he got the rifle, he fired a few more shots and said the animal appeared to have died. Mr. Votruba said he didn’t feel like he was injured in the immediate aftermath; he had holes in his shirt, but did not suffer any scratches to his chest. He had a scrape on his elbow. He said he went to UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus in Worcester, where he said he received seven rabies shots and an updated tetanus shot. – For complete article and photos see

Author’s Note: Linda Bock of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Staff reported on 06/21/13 that state Department of Health officials have confirmed the bobcat involved in the attack of Michael Votruba of Holden, Massachusetts, on Monday night tested positive for rabies.

Grizzly Attack: 06/20/13 The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is investigating an apparent grizzly bear attack on a rancher near Cody. Regional wildlife supervisor Alan Osterland  says the man suffered injuries in the attack at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday and was being treated at a hospital. Osterland says the injuries were not life-threatening. He declined to release the man’s name. Osterland says the rancher was working alone in an irrigation ditch about 20 miles southwest of Cody when the attack occurred. He says the man made it back to his house on his own. Osterland says the initial indication is that it was a chance encounter involving a sow with cubs. The area is within established grizzly bear habitat. Wildlife managers are trying to locate the bear involved. – See


Snowshoe Hare.

Snowshoe Hare.

Alaska 06/19/13 News Release – State officials have confirmed that a sick hare with many ticks that was taken to a veterinary clinic in Fairbanks last week died of tularemia. Wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckman encouraged people to contact ADF&G at 459-7206 if they notice hares that appear to be ill, especially in the Fairbanks area where the first case identified this year originated. Signs that a hare is infected include lack of fear of people, “tameness”, lethargy, and sudden death. People can protect themselves by using gloves or a plastic bag if they have to touch a dead hare, and washing their hands afterwards. Don’t drink untreated water from areas that muskrats and beavers are likely to inhabit. Double bag and dispose of dead hares in trash or bury where dogs and scavengers can not get to them. – For complete release see

zoonosis_tularemia (2)Nebraska 06/21/13 by Heather Johnson – A North Platte girl is recovering after contracting tularemia. Dr. Tom Safranek, Nebraska state epidemiologist, said six cases of the highly contagious disease have been confirmed in the state this year. Eva Nutter, 4, is one of them. Eva spent Memorial Day weekend swimming in Birdwood Creek and the Interstate lakes near Hershey. Afterward, her mother, Jennifer Nutter, noticed a tick on the left side of Eva’s neck. Jennifer said she pulled the bug off and forgot about it. Soon after, Eva developed a rash and fever and complained of neck pain. The lymph nodes behind her ear and by her clavicle swelled. Jennifer, a registered nurse, became concerned Eva might have meningitis. She took her to Great Plains Pediatrics in North Platte, where another tick was found in Eva’s hairline near her left ear. “The tick wasn’t imbedded completely, but it was evident it had been there for a while,” Jennifer said. “The site was infected. There was a red, swollen area about 3 inches wide that was hot to the touch.” Cultures were done, and Eva was put on an antibiotic and sent home. When she started complaining about a sore throat a few days later, Jennifer took her back to the pediatrician’s office. “By then, she had pustules on the roof of her mouth and her throat was swollen,” Jennifer said. “The areas where both ticks had bitten her were even more inflamed, and the skin around them was peeling.” More cultures were performed and Eva was put on another antibiotic, which she caused an allergic reaction. Ultimately, Eva was taken to the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. On June 6, she was diagnosed with tularemia, also known as rabbit fever or deer fly fever. Because of Jennifer’s nursing background, officials at the children’s hospital agreed to let her treat Eva at home with IV fluids. Eva received doses of Gentamicin three times a day for nine days and is feeling better, Jennifer said.

Tularemia1-300x200According to Safranek, tularemia can be life threatening. Caused by bacteria, it can attack the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, lungs and other internal organs. Safranek said the disease is most common in mammals, especially rodents and rabbits. Tularemia is transmitted through tick and deer fly bites, skin contact with infected animals, ingestion of contaminated water and inhalation of contaminated dusts and aerosols. “We’ve had scenarios where yard workers run over an infected rabbit carcass and the aerosols from it cause pneumonia,” Safranek said. “Those people can get really sick and die really fast.” He said the biggest problem with both tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, another tickborne disease, is that they are so uncommon they are often overlooked. “Doctors often misdiagnose them and prescribe the wrong antibiotics to treat them,” Safranek said. “The good news is they are preventable.” He said people should use care when handling dead animals, wear insect repellent and do frequent tick checks because the transmission rate is low if ticks are removed quickly. – For photo see

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Lake Cty CACalifornia 06/21/13 Lake County: by Mary Callahan – Mosquitoes collected last week near Kelseyville have tested positive for WNV. . . As of Wednesday, the virus had turned up in 13 California counties so far this year, with one human death reported in Sacramento. – See

mapCalifornia 06/20/13 Los Angeles County: At least six dead crows found on the Palos Verdes Peninsula have tested positive for WNV this week. Three were in the Dapplegray Lanes area of Rolling Hills Estates, one in Rancho Palos Verdes, and five in Lomita. – See

Adams_County.INIndiana 06/21/13 Adams County: Health officials have confirmed the first signs of WNV activity in the state so far this year have been found in mosquitoes collected in the county. – See

saginaw cty MIMichigan 06/20/13 Saginaw County: A dead crow found in the northern end of the City of Saginaw has tested positive for WNV. – See

imagesCABASWWI-001South Dakota 06/21/13 Brookings and Hughes counties: This season’s first WNV detections have been found in mosquito pools collected in the two counties. – See

Washington_County.WIWisconsin 06/20/13 Washington County: A dead crow found in the county that tested positive for WNV is the first instance of the disease found in the state so far this year. –


imagesCAG9WNS5California 06/20/13 Madera County: A skunk that was killed by a dog in the vicinity of North Fork has tested positive for rabies. – See

batwarningColorado 06/19/13 Pueblo County: A bat found on San Carlos Road between La Vista and Starlight roads has tested positive for rabies. – See

Maryland 06/20/13 Worcester County: An raccoon_largeaggressive raccoon that attacked a person Tuesday in the vicinity of Northside Park in Ocean City has tested positive for rabies. – See

the-fox-by-bully27-995x1024Massachusetts 06/20/13 Bristol County: New Bedford city officials said Thursday a fox that bit two people in the city’s North End has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued to residents of New Bedford’s Sassaquin neighborhood, as well as in Freetown and Acushnet. – See

Minnesota 06/19/13 Stearns County: Health officials have confirmed a second skunk found in St. Cloud within a week has tested positive for rabies. – See 3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718in-St-Cloud-4610667.php

Missouri 06/20/13 Bollinger County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after several skunks and a dog found in the vicinity of Marble Hill tested positive for the virus. –

OK_State_Health_Department_logoOklahoma 06/20/13 So far this year, 41 cases of animal rabies have been confirmed in the state, including 25 skunks, nine cows, five dogs, one horse, and one fox. Animal rabies cases have been confirmed in counties located throughout the state. – For complete article see

We_need_your_help62435 Oklahoma 06/19/13 Murray County: The state Department of Health is investigating whether anyone who handled a puppy that later died of rabies was exposed to the disease. The health agency said Wednesday the Bluetick/Walker Coonhound mix puppy was part of a litter of five or six 10-week-old puppies sold June 9th at the Bivens Dog Trade in Sulphur. The puppies have black, brown and white markings. One of the puppies developed symptoms of rabies on June 12 and died. Laboratory tests confirmed rabies. The agency is looking for the seller of the puppies. Anyone who bought one or may have come in contact with the puppies should contact the Health Department to determine if they were exposed to the virus.

grounded%20batTexas 06/18/13 Bexar County: by Jeff B. Finn – Kirby city officials successfully located, contacted and informed the family members of a quartet of youths who may have come into contact with a rabid bat at a city park. City Manager Tim Bolda said the June 2 incident involved a bat that landed in a grassy area near the city pool on Charles Conrad in Kirby. As many as four youths — three Kirby family members and a relative from out of town – could have been exposed to rabies, as the bat later tested positive for the disease. “We had confirmation from some of the people in the area that three or four kids were kicking at it,” Bolda said. “It got kicked into the pool near the filter.” Lifeguards immediately evacuated the pool and premises before donning gloves and retrieving the bat, which was properly stored until a Kirby animal control officer arrived and secured the dead animal. Animal Services Manager Christie Banduch began contacting as many of the 51 people at the pool that afternoon, to inform them of the potential hazard and to learn which group of pool attendees may have come into contact with the bat. Once the city received positive lab results June 5 from the Bexar County Metropolitan Health District lab, the city began an intense search for those who were near the bat. – See

2326318Virginia 06/19/13 City of Danville: A fox found in the vicinity of Henry Street has tested positive for rabies. – See,0,4160974.story

Help-520x437Virginia 06/19/13 City of Williamsburg: The Peninsula Health District is on the lookout for a tan and black pit bull wearing a blue collar after the dog bit a person Sunday in the Windy Hill Mobile Home Park in James City County. Once the dog is found, it will be placed on in-home confinement for 10 days while it’s tested. If the dog cannot be found, the victim may have to receive post-exposure treatment for the prevention of rabies, according to a news release from PDH. If you see the dog, call PDH at 603-4277. If you see the dog after normal business hours, call James City County Animal Control at 253-1800.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s