Tag Archives: Rats

LOUISIANA townspeople post “COYOTE ATTACK AREA” signs to alert neighbors ~ RABIES reports from FLORIDA, MARYLAND, NORTH DAKOTA, PENNSYLVANIA, & VIRGINIA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending April 14, 2012 ~ TRAVEL REPORTS: CDC warns of LASSA FEVER in NIGERIA.

Coyote. Photo by Santa Clara County, California.

Louisiana 04/24/12 Harahan, Jefferson Parish: Local police have resumed nighttime coyote hunts after pet owners reported cats and dogs were either missing or had been mutilated. John Leslie, a wildlife biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, blamed the increasing number of sightings on the animals’ good parenting. – See http://www.nola.com/pets/index.ssf/2012/04/coyotes_again_mauling_cats_in.html

Florida 04/24/12 Suwannee County: A rabies alert has been issued after a raccoon found in the vicinity of U.S. 90W and West Tower Road tested positive for rabies. – See http://suwanneedemocrat.com/local/x1521922374/Rabies-alert-issued-in-western-Suwannee-County

Maryland 04/24/12 Port Deposit, Cecil County: A feral cat that scratched at least five people on Main Street last Friday has tested positive for rabies. The cat is described as a small-to-medium sized yellow tabby cat that looked sickly and had abscesses on its body. – See http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/region/cecil_county/rabid-cat-scratches-5-people-in-cecil-county

North Dakota 04/24/12 jamestownsun.com: A mild winter and spring have led to a spike in rabies cases in North Dakota. State officials are urging pet and livestock owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated against the deadly virus. There have been 40 confirmed rabies cases so far this year –  double the 20 cases in all of 2011, Deputy State Veterinarian Beth Carlson said. The disease has been found in cattle, horses, sheep, cats, bats and skunks this year. Skunks are the main carrier, however, spreading the disease by biting other animals. – For complete article see http://www.jamestownsun.com/event/apArticle/id/D9UBCEOO3/

Pennsylvania o4/24/12 Upper Darby, Delaware County: A teenage girl is receiving post-exposure rabies treatments after waking in the night to find a raccoon biting her leg. The incident occurred in the 100-block of Summit Avenue, unfortunately the raccoon escaped and has not been found. – See http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/teenager-attacked-by-raccoon-in-her-bedroom

Virginia 04/23/12 Williamsburg: Health officials have issued a rabies alert after a fox attacked a Heritage Humane Society dog while it was being walked by a technician earlier this week. The dog received minor injuries and the fox, which is presumed to be rabid, returned to the woods and has not been found. – See http://www.vagazette.com/articles/2012/04/23/news/doc4f9592a25f841086277449.txt

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending April 14, 2012:

Published April 20, 2012/ 61(15); ND-198-ND-212

Anaplasmosis . . . 3 . . . New York, Rhode Island (2),

Babesiosis . . . 1 . . . New York,

Brucellosis . . . 2 . . . Florida (2), 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 3 . . . Florida, Missouri, Texas,

Giardiasis . . . 78 . . . Alabama, Florida (19), Iowa, Maryland (2), Michigan (7), New York (22), Ohio (9), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (5), Washington (7), Wisconsin (2),

Lyme Disease . . .  93. . .  Florida (3), Maine, Maryland (2), Michigan (2), New Jersey (37), New York (28), Pennsylvania (17), Virginia (3),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . New York,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 16. . . Alabama, Arkansas (6), Maine, Maryland (4), New York (2), Texas, West Virginia,

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 11 . . . Alabama, Colorado, Missouri (7), New York, Tennessee,

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Maryland.

Travel Warnings:

Nigeria 04/25/12 cdc.com: Travelers’ Health News Release – The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health has reported an increased number of cases of Lassa fever. Nineteen of the country’s 36 states have reported cases since the beginning of 2012. As of April 13, 2012, there were reports of 818 suspected cases, including 84 deaths. At this time, 131 cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing. Seven deaths have also been reported among health care workers.  Cases have occurred in the states of Edo, Bauchi, Plateau and Taraba. The number of reported cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria is greater this year than in previous years. However, cases in previous years could have been underestimated due to the lack of laboratory and disease investigation systems. Lassa fever is a viral illness that is spread by rats. People get the disease through direct contact with rat droppings or urine and through touching objects or eating food contaminated with rat droppings or urine. Lassa fever may also spread though person-to-person contact. For advice on how travelers can protect themselves see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/in-the-news/lassa-fever-in-nigeria.htm

Advertisements

Michigan’s Detroit-area has reported more than 20 cases of life-threatening LEPTOSPIROSIS in DOGS this month ~ Montana FWP and Wisconsin DNR call for volunteers to monitor WOLF population ~ California and Connecticut city officials report MOUNTAIN LION sightings ~ a ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER report from Arkansas ~ and RABIES reports from California, & New York.

Labrador Retriever. Photo by Webdude1. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan 10/27/11msu.edu: News Release – More than 20 cases of the life-threatening bacterial infection leptospirosis have been reported in Detroit-area dogs in the past three weeks, according to Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Experts at the MSU center, a service unit of the College of Veterinary Medicine, diagnosed the specific strain of the disease, which can cause fatal damage to dogs and can be transmitted to humans. In most cases, the dogs were not vaccinated against leptospirosis, or they had an uncertain vaccination history. Because this particular type of leptospirosis is associated with contact with rats, stray dogs are typically thought to be at highest risk.

Dr. Carole Bolin

“What is particularly unusual about this outbreak is that the dogs affected are not stray animals, but people’s pets,” said Carole Bolin, director of the Diagnostic Center. “Unfortunately, we expect to see more cases, and this is a very dangerous type of leptospirosis. Many veterinarians have never seen this type in dogs because it was markedly reduced by vaccination.”

Bolin and her team performed diagnostic testing and identified the particular strain of infection as icterohaemorrhagiae, which can cause severe disease in humans and animals. It is commonly carried by rats but also can be transmitted dog-to-dog or dog-to-human. Bolin is aware of nine dogs that died or were euthanized as a result of the disease, but there may be others. Leptospirosis spreads by infected wild and domestic animals. The bacteria (leptospira) that infects these animals can reside in their kidneys, and the host animal may or may not appear ill. They contaminate their environment with living leptospira when they urinate. Pets can become infected by sniffing this urine or by contacting standing water that becomes contaminated by rain and water runoff. “This is a very serious, rapidly progressing type of leptospirosis in dogs,” Bolin said. “Dogs can appear normal one day and be severely ill the next day. People can become infected, so this also is a threat to animal owners, caretakers and veterinarians.” – For complete news release go to http://news.msu.edu/story/9952/

Montana 10/27/11 helenair.com: by Joe Maurier – Over the course of Montana’s unique five-week-long general hunting season, more than 250,000 proud hunters will chart more than 2 million days afield in pursuit of elk and deer. Some 13,000 will also have a license to legally hunt a wolf for only the second time in recent memory. Montana set the quota for the wolf harvest at 220 animals and each harvest must be reported. But we need many more hunters to keep an eye out for wolves to help Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks manage this relatively new addition to our state. The wolf, unlike most other wildlife species, offers more ways than one to be counted. Wolves howl. They walk on forest roads. They leave tracks. And they are increasingly observed by people. For skilled and informed outdoorsmen and women, wolves leave plenty of sign. Unlike deer and elk, wolves live in packs. When you find the tracks of a wolf—and especially the tracks of three or more running together—the odds are high that they patrol an area of some 200 square miles. In this manner, wolf packs sit on the map of Montana like a hundred interlocking puzzle pieces. Like any puzzle, the first few pieces are the toughest to find and fit together. That’s why FWP goes to the extra effort of capturing and placing radio collars on wolves across Montana. The home ranges of radioed wolves describe the outlines of each pack territory on the map, and the radios lead your FWP wildlife biologists in airplanes or on foot to the rest of their pack members. This fall, as hundreds of thousands of hunters comb the far corners Montana — often in tracking snow — we ask that they also take the time to report their specific observations of wolves or tracks to FWP. With that first hand information, wildlife biologists will return to many of the sites to confirm wolf presence. For complete article go to http://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/hunters-can-help-montana-s-wolf-management-efforts/article_9103d7ac-0063-11e1-8b76-001cc4c03286.html

Wisconsin 10/27/11 jsonline.com: by Paul A. Smith – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources utilizes a team of volunteer trackers each winter to help monitor the state’s wolf population. It’s been called the largest such wildlife tracking program in the nation. Volunteers are required to attend one or more training sessions to qualify for the effort. The DNR is issuing its annual call for volunteers as well as listing the schedule of workshops planned in the coming weeks. Volunteer trackers are assigned survey blocks in forest portions of northern and central Wisconsin, and are asked to conduct three or more surveys in their assigned block each winter. Data they gather can be compiled with those of other volunteers to aid Department of Natural Resources biologists in evaluating wolf populations. – For complete article go to http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/132700988.html

California 10/26/11 thecalifornian.com: Monterey, Monterey County: Local police responded to a mountain lion sighting Monday in the 500 block of Mar Vista Drive. While Officers were checking the area, a caller reported seeing a mountain lion in a backyard in the same vicinity. Officers witnessed an animal jumping from a tree and running up a hill into a wooded area. The officers did not get a clear view of the animal, but they believe it was a mountain lion based upon its size and movement.

 

Connecticut 10/27/11 East Haddam, Middlesex County: Local Animal Control Officer Michael Olzacki reports mountain lion sighting. First Selectman Mark Walter said he’s not surprised, despite the official state position that there are no resident mountain lions in the state. See http://www.theday.com/article/20111027/NWS01/111029262/1047

California 10/26/11 Siskiyou County: The Siskiyou County Public Health and Community Development Department is advising local residents that two bats have been confirmed positive for the rabies virus in late September and early October in northern Siskiyou County. In both cases, domestic pets have come in contact with the rabid bats. See http://www.mtshastanews.com/news/x2063883379/Two-Siskiyou-bats-test-positive-for-rabies

New York 10/26/11 West Winfield, Herkimer County: Health officials warn residents after a skunk that attacked a caged dog tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Residents-warned-to-be-cautious-after-rabid-skunk-attacked-caged-dog-132649673.html

USDA sharpshooters may thin DEER population at USMC’s Camp Lejeune in North Carolina ~ Mississippi confirms another WEST NILE VIRUS death and six new HUMAN cases ~ Two in Maryland bitten by FERAL CAT with RABIES ~ Pennsylvania animal shelter workers bitten by STRAY KITTEN with RABIES ~ Illinois confirms two more CATS with TULAREMIA ~ Travel Warnings for The Philippines ~ AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Whitetail deer. Photo by lcwtoys. Wikimedia Commons.

North Carolina 10/01/11 marinecorpstimes.com: by Gina Cavallaro – The living conditions at Camp Lejeune, N.C., have become a little too comfortable for thousands of white-tailed deer. There are so many, and they’re causing so many problems, that base officials are considering the use of sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to end the problem. Lejeune has documented 120 deer-vehicle collisions since 2009, and officials estimate the hungry animals have destroyed 500 acres of landscaped vegetation in the base’s urban areas. Deer make people sick, too. In 2009, Lejeune medical personnel treated 24 cases of Lyme disease and 11 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, both illnesses caused by deer that also carry ticks and other parasites. In 2010, the number of Lyme disease cases jumped to 39 and there were six cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Camp Lejeune’s own hunting program has helped somewhat, but officials have concluded that hunting alone is not enough to bring the burgeoning population of white tail deer under control. The sharpshooters, or “firearms experts” as the government agency calls them, have helped control deer populations in dozens of wildlife areas, including places like Camp David, the presidential retreat on Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain, and in Valley Forge, Pa., where over the course of 16 nights, a team took out 600 deer. A three-person team comprises a driver, shooter and spotter from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services program.

But don’t confuse these shooters with Marine scout snipers. The USDA experts are wildlife biologists who are schooled in the movements and behaviors of animals. They also work at Marine Corps air stations to help control populations of birds that can do more harm to an aircraft than a deer can do in a vegetable garden. There is no start date yet for the sharpshooter plan, but with hunting season underway in eastern North Carolina, the deer may soon find it hard to hide.

Mississippi 09/26/11 ms.gov: News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one death in a previously reported West Nile virus (WNV) case in Jasper County and six new human cases in Hinds, Madison, Rankin (3), and Washington counties, bringing the state’s total to 39 cases for 2011 with three deaths. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Forrest (4), Hinds (6), Jones (4), Madison (6), Pearl River (6), Rankin (5), Washington (2) and one case each in Coahoma, Jasper, Lincoln, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Wayne counties. Three deaths have been confirmed, in Jasper, Jones, and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Maryland 10/01/11 delawreonline.com: A cat that attacked two people in the parking lot of Rising Sun High School has tested positive for rabies, Cecil County Health Department officials said today. The cat — unprovoked — bit both of the people it attacked Friday and died during the incident. Its body was sent to the state Health Department Laboratory, where the confirmation was made. Health Department spokeswoman Janis D. Shields said both people now are receiving the four-dose series of vaccines used to treat rabies, a viral disease that — if untreated — is fatal to humans and animals. Shields said the vaccines are given on the day of exposure, and on the third, seventh and 14th days following. Anyone scratched or bitten in the past 10 days by a female cat with calico markings in the area of the high school should contact their doctor or report to an emergency room for treatment, officials said. The high school is at 100 Tiger Drive, near the intersection of Maryland 272 and 273 in the center of northern Cecil County.

Pennsylvania 09/29/11 wpxi.com: Workers at a Westmoreland County animal shelter are being treated for rabies after they got bitten by a stray kitten. The kitten had a small bite when someone took the animal to Animal Protectors in New Kensington almost 3 weeks ago. But it didn’t begin to show symptoms of rabies until it bit a worker and a volunteer over the weekend. Both were both vaccinated immediately. Vets at the shelter told Channel 11 News that the kitten was put down after tests confirmed it had rabies.

Illinois 09/30/11 news-gazette-com: by Tim Ditman – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says two more cats have tested positive for Tularemia disease. One of those cats is in Champaign. The other is in Urbana. Three cats from Savoy had previously tested positive for the disease. Four of the five sick cats have either died due to the disease or have been euthanized. Health district epidemiologist Awais Vaid says the cause of the outbreak is still under investigation.

Travel Warnings:

The Philippines 10/02/11 pia.gov.ph: News Release  — In a release by the Department of Health, Center for Health Development-Metro Manila (CHD-MM) Regional Director Eduardo Janairo reported that cases of leptospirosis are fast rising as series of typhoons continue to bring flood waters in various areas of Metro Manila. Janairo said the disease brought about by rats can be very deadly as it is transmitted through humans from contaminated waters, especially rat urine.  “Once it comes into contact with cuts and open wounds in the skin, a person may develop high-grade fever, muscle pain and nausea. If complications may arise, it can lead to renal failure, respiratory distress and eventually death,” said Janairo. CHD’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit records showed 391 cases of leptospirosis, with 31 deaths from January to September 8, 2011. Among the cities with the most number of recorded cases of leptospirosis are: Manila (79), Quezon City (76), Caloocan (3), Malabon (4), Navotas (27), Valenzuela (21), Parañaque (22), Pasay (19), Makati (12), Las Piñas (10), and Taguig (10).

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Posts will be limited

through October 15

due to

carpal tunnel syndrome.

Massachusetts man says COYOTES killed one of his BUFFALO ~ New York’s Westchester County issues RABIES ALERT ~ California man and South Dakota woman each confront a MOUNTAIN LION to save their pets ~ California hospital looking for 6,000 people who received one or more of six vaccinations, including RABIES VACCINE, that may be subpotent ~ Florida’s Pinellas County finds four more SENTINEL CHICKENS with ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES (animal) reports from Alabama, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina (2), Ohio, South Carolina, & Washington ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (human & horse) reports from Delaware, Maryland, & Pennsylvania ~ and an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (horse) report from Michigan ~ Travel Warnings for The Bahamas, & Dominica.

American buffalo. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Massachusetts 09/16/11 boston.com: by Meghan Irons – Coyotes lurking in the woods in Massachusetts have been known to attack dogs, chickens, cats, and even, in rare instances, people. But a buffalo? You better believe it, pardner.  Tyler Kimball says it actually happened here on his farm in the dark of night on Saturday.

Wolf pack surrounding a buffalo

A pack of coyotes entered a pen where his 14 buffalos grazed. When they were done, one was missing.  The coyotes were sly, Kimball said. They separated a relatively young buffalo, 16 months old, from the rest of the herd, dragged it into a nearby swamp, and devoured it.  “All that was left was skin and bone,” said Kimball, who was keeping watch over the pen today as the herd huddled together and grazed on grass. Kimball decided to raise buffalos a few years ago after he visited a farm in Maine and ate buffalo meat. He raises the animals for their meat and uses them to protect chickens that are in a coop inside the pen. The animals are also huge attractions for visitors. After the coyote attack, he vowed to be vigilant in protecting the animals – armed, if necessary. “I’m going to come out here with my gun, and if I see one, I’ll shoot it,” he said.

New York 09/16/11 patch.com: by Satta Sarmah – The Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert on Friday after rabid animals were spotted in five communities. The alert is for residents who may have had contact with a rabid skunk in Ossining, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, or Katonah or a rabid raccoon in Yorktown. On Sept. 8, a man in Mamaroneck killed a rabid skunk with a metal rod after it chased him on Center Avenue. In Yorktown, a resident killed a rabid raccoon after it fought with two dogs on Kitchawan Road on Sept. 9. Four days later, a rabid skunk attacked a dog on Belle Avenue in Ossining and was eventually killed by police, while another rabid skunk in Scarsdale followed a dog into a yard before construction workers killed it by pummeling rocks at the animal. The latest rabid animal incident occurred on Thursday morning in Katonah. A sick skunk was found shaking in a front yard on Buckabee Place. Bedford police shot and killed the animal. No person had direct contact with any of the rabid animals, but the pets that did are receiving rabies booster shots. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the location where each of the animals was found. However, anyone who may have had contact with them should call the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to determine if rabies treatment is needed. For more information about rabies and its prevention, visit the Westchester County Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health. Residents also can call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010 to listen to a taped message.

California 09/16/11 patch.com: by Nathan McIntire – A Monrovia resident chased away a mountain lion from his hillside neighborhood Thursday night, but not before it killed his cat. Maxwell Harvey was pulling up to his home in the 400 block of Lotone Street at about 10 p.m. Thursday when he saw the mountain lion in a neighbor’s driveway. He noticed it had something clasped in its jaws. “I saw something in its mouth but I didn’t know what it was,” Harvey said. “Then I saw it was my cat so I started to chase after it.” The mountain lion dropped the cat, an orange tabby named “Brett Favre,” in the street a few houses down before scampering back up into the foothills. Harvey said it came back down about an hour later looking for its kill, but he had already picked up the cat’s body. The Monrovia Police Department sent out a robo-call Friday warning residents about the mountain lion sighting. Residents in Sierra Madre also reported seeing a mountain lion roaming the streets on Monday.

South Dakota 09/17/11 rapidcityjournal.com: by Andrea J. Cook – Jill Schad didn’t hesitate when she saw her Sheltie Kay’D clutched in a mountain lion‘s jaws. After calling for help, Schad grabbed a small bottle of antifreeze before advancing on the lion that had her pet in a death grip. “Your adrenalin just kind of takes over,” Schad said. “I just tried to save her.” Schad estimates she was within 18 inches of the lion that had either cornered or carried Kay’D into a boat shed Sept. 4. Game, Fish & Parks officials shot and killed the lion and a female traveling with it later that evening after the animals returned to the area. The killing of the two lions brings to 73 the number of documented lion deaths in South Dakota since the first of the year, Mike Kintigh, regional GF&P supervisor, said. Don and Jill Schad have lived two miles south of Cheyenne Crossing, on U.S. Highway 85, for more than 10 years. This is the first time they’ve seen mountain lions on the property that is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. – For complete article go to http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/woman-stood-face-to-face-with-mountain-lion/article_20f719ce-e0ec-11e0-9b8d-001cc4c002e0.html

California 09/16/11 appeal-democrat.com: Fremont Rideout Health Group is trying to reach about 6,000 people who received vaccines that may be subpotent. Letters were sent this week to patients who received six vaccines potentially affected by a refrigeration malfunction, a FRHG official said Friday. The hospital is offering revaccinations as a precautionary measure. The six vaccines were administered to fight pneumonia; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus; pertussis; rabies; and Hepatitis B. The vaccinations in question date back to February 2010. Chance White, FRHG senior vice president and chief clinical officer, said the vaccines’ manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control indicated there’s a “small chance” the vaccines could be subpotent. In addition to the free revaccinations, the hospital will offer recipients a vaccine against the 2011-12 flu strain, also at no charge. “The manufacturers and the CDC said there’s no danger in getting subpotent vaccines or having revaccinations,” White said. Addresses for everyone who received the vaccinations are on file, but the hospital is concerned some people may have moved and will not get the letter. In addition to issuing a media advisory, FRHG plans an ad about the revaccinations. The outreach was initiated after FRHG identified a malfunction in the refrigeration unit of the pharmacy used to store vaccines; it was getting colder than the temperature range recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Unable to retrieve all relevant electronic temperature data for the malfunctioning unit, the hospital decided to revaccinate everyone, White said. “The prudent thing is to offer the revaccinations,” said White. Questions regarding the vaccines and revaccinations can be directed to a hotline, 749-6654, or email vaccines@frhg.org.

Florida 09/16/11 patch.com: by Sunde Farquhar – Pinellas County officials are advising residents of southwest Florida to double efforts to protect themselves from mosquito bites. That is the message from Pinellas County Health officials, concerned about the risks of disease to humans. Four more sentinel chickens tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis, bringing the total of infected chickens in the county to nine. Sentinel chickens are kept in eight locations throughout the county and are tested weekly for signs of arboviral diseases caused by mosquito bites. County officials say the chickens serve as an early-warning beacon, making them aware of disease-carrying mosquitoes that pose risks to humans. Chickens tested positive in St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole and Palm Harbor.

Alabama 09/15/11 dothaneagle.com: Houston County’s sixth animal rabies case for the year was discovered in a raccoon found at a residence on Clearmont Drive in Dothan. According to the Houston County Health Department, a resident found the raccoon fighting with his dogs and asked for the raccoon to be tested for rabies. There was no known human exposure to the rabid raccoon and the dogs involved are currently vaccinated for the rabies virus.

California 09/15/11 newsreview.com: Chico Police say a rabid bat bit a young boy at Bidwell Park. The boy required treatment after the Butte County Public Health Laboratory confirmed the animal had rabies. According to a CPD press release, the incident occurred as the 6-year-old played on the grass on the north side of Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area.

Connecticut 09/15/11 patch.com: by Stephanie Riefe – On September 14 at 4:23 p.m., the Simsbury Police Department responded to 18 Windham Drive in Simsbury. A resident witnessed a skunk attack a dog several times. Officers responded and located the skunk and it was exhibiting signs of sickness. Simsbury Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz delivered the skunk to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for testing. On September 15, the Simsbury Police Department was informed by DPH that the skunk tested positive for rabies. If you, someone you know or any domesticated animals came into contact with a skunk in the area of Windham Drive within the last two weeks, it is recommend that you contact your doctor or veterinarian for advice. For any other questions or concerns, contact the Simsbury Police Department at 860-658-3100 or Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz at 860-658-3110. For further information, view the CT DPH Rabies website at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=396178.

New Mexico 09/15/11 lcsun-news.com: by Diana M. Alba – A rabid bat recently was found at an apartment complex on Solano Drive, a state health official confirmed. It was the first confirmed instance of rabies in Doña Ana County this year. The bat was found two weeks ago at the complex and picked up by city animal control personnel, who, believing it was suspect, shipped the specimen to a state health laboratory in Albuquerque, said Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian.

North Carolina 09/16/11 newsobserver.com: Wake County health officials say two cases of rabies were confirmed this week, in Wendell and Willow Springs. Both cases involved rabid foxes. In one case, the fox interacted with a dog that had not received a rabies vaccination and had to be put down. The foxes were found near the intersection of Quail Creek Drive and Eddie Howard Road in Willow Springs and near the intersection of Gillies Spring Lane and Wendell Boulevard in Wendell. Residents of both areas are urged to keep an eye out for animals that are acting strangely and to keep their pets close at hand. County officials ask anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner to call Wake County Animal Control at 212-7387. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an unknown animal should call their physician or the county community health department at 250-4462.

North Carolina 09/15/11 statesville.com: by Donna Swicegood – A skunk that attacked a dog in western Iredell County recently has been confirmed to have rabies. Iredell County Animal Services Director Chris Royal said a dog, whose owners live on Doe Trail Lane, was attacked by the skunk.  One of the owners of the dog shot and killed the skunk, and the skunk’s body was sent off to Raleigh for testing. The test came back positive for rabies, Royal said. This is the fifth case of rabies this year in Iredell County, she said. The dog, she said, was injured in the attack and was taken to the veterinarian for treatment. However, because of the dog’s age — 14 — the owners decided to surrender it to animal control and it was euthanized, Royal said.

Ohio 09/15/11 patch.com: by Jason Lea – A rabid skunk was collected in the northwest part of Mentor after it had an encounter with two unvaccinated dogs, according to the Lake County General Health District. To make sure they don’t spread the disease, the dogs will be subject to a six-month quarantine. This is the second rabid skunk found this year in Mentor. The first was located about two miles west in the northern, middle portion of Mentor in mid-July. It was captured during a routine Trap, Vaccinate and Release operation carried out by the USDA Wildlife Services. The skunk is believed to be infected with raccoon strain rabies. Since 2004, 136 animals with raccoon strain rabies have been found in Lake County, according to the health district. Health departments in northeast Ohio have distributed rabies vaccine for raccoons to eat. However, the vaccine is not effective in skunks. A new vaccine for skunks is undergoing trials and it is hoped it will be available for use locally next year. Citizens can call the Lake County General Health District at 440-350-2543 to report dead or sick animals and animals with odd behavior.

South Carolina 09/15/11 islandpacket.com: by Allison Stice – Three people who cared for an injured raccoon in Okatie are undergoing medical treatment after the animal tested positive for rabies, state health officials said Thursday.  Five others are being evaluated to see if they need the preventive inoculation against the virus, which is fatal to humans and animals once it reaches the brain.  The raccoon was found struggling to walk along a road in Okatie when a resident decided to take it home to nurse it, unaware that it was rabid, according to Adam Myrick, public information director for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. When the animal’s condition worsened, it was taken to a veterinarian where it tested positive for rabies.  Now, two women and a child who handled the raccoon are being treated by a doctor. The animal did not bite them, but the virus can spread through scratches or saliva, Myrick said. DHEC is still determining how much contact five other people may have had with the raccoon.  “We cannot stress enough the importance of resisting the urge to adopt or feed wildlife,” Sue Ferguson of DHEC said in a news release. “Despite the prevalent folklore, there is no way to tell from looking at an animal whether or not it has rabies, and baby animals can carry the disease without showing the symptoms, as well.” The incident is the fifth confirmed rabid animal in Beaufort County this year. Last year’s total was five rabid animals, with 106 confirmed cases in the state.

Washington 09/16/11 theolympian.com: A dead bat found inside a store on Olympia’s west side has tested positive for rabies, according to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services department. According to a news release: Two customers found the bat Sept. 9 in the Halloween section of the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store. The health department was notified Monday and sent the bat to the Washington State Public Health Laboratories for testing. Wednesday, the lab notified Public Health and Social Services that the bat had rabies. The pair who found the bat received rabies vaccinations as a precaution. County health officials are asking the store’s customers to call if they may have touched the bat at the store between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The health department can be reached at 360-867-2500. “People who walked, shopped, or worked at Jo-Ann’s are not at risk unless they came in contact with the bat,” Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, said in the news release. A dozen to as many as 23 bats a year test positive for rabies statewide, said Tim Church, communications director for the state Department of Health. In 2010, out of 200 bats tested, 14 were positive, he said. Nine have tested positive this year, Church said.

New Castle County

Delaware 09/17/11 delawareonline.com: by Hiran Ratnayake – A 71-year-old man from New Castle County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. The man has underlying health conditions and is hospitalized but his status was not released by the state’s Department of Health and Social Services Friday. “What we can release is that he is 71 and he is from New Castle County and that is the extent of what we can release,” said Jill Fredel, department spokeswoman. Between 2004 and 2009, the state had four cases of West Nile virus, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health. As of Sept. 13, there were 202 human cases of West Nile virus in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including seven deaths. Fredel said people spending time outside should stay covered up and use insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes. “We have one confirmed case and [Delawareans] should be mindful of it,” Fredel said.

Sussex County

At the same time, state agricultural officials also said the health of a Sussex County horse with clinical signs of the West Nile Virus is improving. Tests to confirm the disease on the horse were inconclusive, according to Delaware’s Department of Agriculture, which was notified about the potential case Sep. 6. Delaware has not had a case of West Nile virus in a horse since 2003.

Prince George's County

Maryland 09/16/11 washingtonpost.com: by Maggie Fazeli Fard – A New Carrollton resident has contracted West Nile virus, Prince George’s County’s first confirmed case of the virus in a human, officials announced Friday. There was no information available on the condition of the infected resident.

Pennsylvania 09/16/11 post-gazette.com: by Jill Daly – A Pittsburgh man, who is Allegheny County’s first case of West Nile virus this year, is now recovering at home after being hospitalized earlier this month. More details of the patient could not be released because of privacy concerns, but he is the first reported West Nile case since 2007, according to county Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole.

Head pressing horse with EEE

Michigan 09/16/11 chron.com: Officials are reporting Michigan’s first horse death this year related to Eastern equine encephalitis. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday announced that lab tests confirmed the diagnosis in a Midland County horse. Last year, the state says there were 56 confirmed horse fatalities related to Eastern equine encephalitis, which is spread by mosquitoes. Others were suspected but not confirmed through lab tests. Suspected cases should be reported to state officials. The disease is rare but can be deadly among humans. Health officials say people should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and horses should be vaccinated.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/15/11 cdc.gov: CDC Outbreak Notice –  Situation Information – The government of the Bahamas issued a public service advisory announcing heightened dengue activity in New Providence. This island is the most populous and includes the city of Nassau. As a result, the US Embassy in Nassau issued an emergency message for US citizens in the Bahamas related to dengue. In August, the Ministry of Health reported that more than 100 cases were being reported daily. Approximately 1,000 cases of dengue-like symptoms had been reported as of August 9. Mosquito bite prevention measures, such as fogging and communication campaigns, are under way in densely populated areas.

Dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from the Caribbean, Central America, and South Central Asia. Dengue is reported commonly from most tropical and subtropical countries of Oceania, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, and occasionally Africa. This disease is caused by four similar viruses (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) and is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Dengue virus transmission occurs in both rural and urban areas; however, dengue is most often reported from urban settings. For the most up-to-date information on dengue worldwide, see the DengueMap on the CDC website. For more information about other countries with dengue in the region, see the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Dominica 09/16/11 thedominican.net – The Ministry of Health in Dominica is actively engaged in bringing an end to dengue fever and leptospirosis on the island. Health officials say they will boost intervention in an attempt to curb the outbreak of dengue fever, which has affected several persons in the Roseau area. So far there are no reported deaths from the outbreak but health officials say there have been 15 confirmed cases since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. They are also awaiting the results on nine suspected cases. Dengue fever is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms include high fever, rash, severe headaches, back pain, eye pain, muscles and joint pain.

Meanwhile, the government of Dominica has received assistance from the Cuban government to help control the rodent population in Dominica. Over the past year close to fifty persons have contracted leptospirosis with seven confirmed deaths. The last two deaths were reported in May when Ricky Allport and Jonathan Wilson both succumbed to the disease. Just this month four new cases were reported. According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson, “we are working with Cuban officials. We have evidence of a high population of rodents and because of that Leptospirosis is not under control.” Dr Johnson called on the general public to assist the authorities as they work on controlling the rodent population on the island. Leptospirosis is largely spread to humans from animals and rodents, particularly rats. The disease can cause severe fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pains, and vomiting.

Michigan woman bitten by Rabid Groundhog; Alaska officials suspect animals at Wolf Country USA are illigal hybrids; New York City man claims Rat infestation exposing residents and pets to Leptospirosis; Lyme Disease expert believes film shown on PBS is deceptive and harmful to public; and Rabies reports from Arizona, Illinois (2), New Jersey, and South Carolina.

Groundhog. Photo by EIC. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan 06/17/11 washingtonexaminer.com: A groundhog that bit a Southfield woman has tested positive for rabies, authorities said Friday. State health officials notified their counterparts in Oakland County of the positive test, Oakland County officials said in a release. It is the first case of rabies in a groundhog ever recorded in Michigan, according to the release. “As wild animals become more active in warmer weather, the possibility of human contact increases,” county health officer Kathy Forzley said. “Our natural instinct is to befriend a baby animal, pet one that seems friendly or help an injured animal. But stray and wild animals should be avoided.” Groundhogs also are known as woodchucks. They are common in many parts of Michigan and often roam into backyards in Detroit and its suburbs. The animals prefer to remain hidden and typically are seen at dawn and dusk. Officials did not give details on the Southfield woman, when she was bitten or the severity of the bite. Southfield is just north of Detroit.

Alaska 06/16/11 fronteirsman.com: by Andrew Wellner – State law enforcement officials descended on Wolf Country USA Thursday to run tests and confirm that animals there are wolves or wolf hybrids. Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said from the scene that the group of officials there numbered 15 to 20 and included troopers, officers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and state biologists. Peters said a 2002 law outlawed the ownership of wolf hybrids and that anyone who owned one at that time needed to get a permit. An affidavit wildlife trooper Sgt. Katrina Malm filed in court to get the search warrant says that neither of the property’s owners — Werner and Gail Schuster — received any such permit. In fact, the state has never issued one. Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms said purebred wolves fall under a different law since they are considered wildlife. No one can own wildlife without a very special and rare permit only issued for people who want the animals for scientific or educational purposes. Schuster said troopers woke him up at 7 a.m. He said there are 40 animals on the property, including puppies. He’s been in business 25 years and said the complaint against him started with someone who has a beef with him over a land dispute and that he disputes the science behind the laws. (For complete article go to http://www.frontiersman.com/articles/2011/06/16/local_news/doc4dfa5f5e6b185225122064.txt )

New York 06/17/11 greenpointnews.com: by McCarton Ackerman – A Jackson Street resident is speaking out after losing his beloved pet to a fatal disease, in the hopes that others will not suffer the same fate. Phillip Montana recently had to euthanize his 4-year-old dog, Simba, after he contracted leptospirosis, a disease transmitted through contact with infected animal urine, usually from rats.

Manhattan Ave & Jackson St

Like much of New York City, Montana’s home base of Jackson Street and Manhattan Avenue suffers from an infestation of rats. Even more worrisome to Montana is the safety of his daughters, since leptospirosis is transmittable from animal-to-human. “Simba shared a bed with my daughter,” said Montana. Montana said that he has filed complaints about the infestation to 311 and the Department of Health over the past two years, but has not received a response. “Every house on Skillman Avenue is complaining now too, this has to be a joint effort within the area.” After Simba’s death, Montana contacted Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office, and Lentol, a long-time animal advocate vowed to take action. “My district office staff has contacted the NYC Department of Health to ask them to immediately bait the area and to help local homeowners bait in their backyards too,” said Lentol. “The NYC Department of Health must act expeditiously to help protect our pets from leptospirosis and from its spread to humans.” Montana is hopeful that Lentol can help. “It’s the first time I’ve heard about him saying he will go directly to the homeowners, because that’s what needs to be done,” he said. “If they don’t take care of their homes front to back, the rats are going to find something to eat there.” According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, leptospirosis is a rare and severe bacterial infection caused by exposure to several types of the leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water contaminated by animal urine. Although it is transferrable from animals to humans, it is not transmitted from person-to-person contact. (For complete article go to http://www.greenpointnews.com/news/3448/potentially-deadly-infection-hits-jackson-street )

National 06/19/11 baltimoresun.com: by Dan Rodricks – Maryland Public Television is set to air a polemical film about Lyme disease that is built on fear-provoking speculations and assertions while advancing a central message that has been discredited by experts in infectious diseases. Despite being apprised of the film’s serious flaws, MPT has “Under Our Skin: A Health Care Nightmare” on its afternoon schedule for June 26. Other stations throughout the Public Broadcasting Service also have “Under Our Skin: on their schedules; some already aired it. The program was distributed free to stations by the National Educational Telecommunications Association. But one of the leading PBS stations in the country, WGBH in Boston, dropped it this month. “The decision was based on our own, internal editorial concerns that surfaced on closer review of the film,” explained Jeanne Hopkins, a WGBH vice president.

Dr. Philip Baker

One of the likely influences was Philip Baker, a longtime research scientist for the National Institutes of Health and executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation. He believes “Under Our Skin” is deceptive and potentially harmful to the public; he complained about its airing to PBS and to MPT. “A partisan film such as this,” Mr. Baker wrote, “can only undermine public health by encouraging naïve individuals to seek unproven remedies to relieve symptoms that, though deserving of appropriate medical treatment and care, may well have nothing to do with Lyme disease.” (To read Dr. Baker’s complete review go to http://www.aldf.com/Under_Our_Skin.shtml )           (For complete article go to http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-rodricks-lyme-20110618,0,5503947.column )

Arizona 06/17/11 verdenews.com: by Steve Ayers – The Arizona Game and Fish Department has reported three separate rabid skunk attacks on humans over the weekend. All three attacks were in the Granite Bain area near Prescott. However, Jeff Pebworht, wildlife programs manager with the AGFD Kingman office warns that summertime is when rabies incidents escalate statewide. “It’s a combination of factors,” says Pebworth, “Rabies is a little more prevalent in the animal population during the summer months, there also more young skunks out at the time and there are more people out in the woods making the likelihood of contact higher.” Typically most cases of rabid animals involve skunks and to a lesser degree bats and foxes. AGFD Public Information Officer Zen Mocarski warns that skunks are nocturnal animals and any seen during the day approaching humans should be assumed to have rabies and to be avoided. Game and Fish also reminds people recreating in the woods to avoid all contact with wild animals and to keep their pets on a leash to minimize contact with wild animals “Keep in mind that skunks are also prone to take up residence in your neighborhood. You don’t have to be in the woods to come in contact with a rabid animal,” says Pebworth. Anyone encountering an animal exhibiting unusual behavior should contact the AGFD at 800-352-0700 of the Verde Ranger Station, (928) 567-4121.

Illinois 06/17/11 pantagraph.com: A bat found outside of a Bloomington home is McLean County’s first rabies positive bat in 2011. Last year, McLean County had 10 bats test positive for rabies.

Illinois 06/17/11 patch.com: by Amie Schaenzer – The first rabid bat of the year was reported this past week in McHenry County. The bat did not have any contact with a human and was found in Woodstock, according to the McHenry County Department of Health press release. McHenry County had the most rabid bats reported among Illinois counties in 2010; several area counties also already have reported rabid bats this year, according to the MCDH. For a rabies fact sheet, visit the Illinois Department of Health’s website.

New Jersey 06/17/11 pressofatlanticcity.com: by Caitlin Dineen – A raccoon found on Walnut Avenue in Northfield earlier this month tested positive for rabies, Atlantic County officials said Friday. The animal was collected June 11. According to officials from the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, the raccoon entered the back yard of a residence and appeared to be lethargic and walking “wobbly.” Animal Control officials removed the raccoon from the location. It is unknown if a dog located in the same yard at the time had any contact with the animal. Officials said the dog is current being vaccinated.

South Carolina 06/17/11 wsoctv.com: A barking dog helped alert a Chester County woman to a potentially dangerous situation in her own yard. “Belle just wouldn’t quit barking, and she went over to the garage and went crazy,” said Beth Wooten, who lives on Charity Road in the Lowrys community. Her dog was staring down a red fox that was sitting in her detached garage. “At first, I thought how pretty he was because he was bright red,” Wooten said. “Then a couple of seconds later I realized, he shouldn’t be here.” It was the middle of the afternoon last week when Wooten and her husband, Sam, found the fox. She said she knew it was sick. “It looked glassy-eyed and its mouth was half open. He had lost a lot of hair and was real thin,” she said. Her husband shot the fox with a pistol and they took it to their veterinarian in nearby McConnells. They were concerned about Belle because she had been close to the fox. Two days later, Department of Health and Environmental Control tests showed the fox was rabid. Eyewitness News called DHEC to ask about rabies cases this year. So far in 2011, 36 wild animals have tested positive for rabies statewide, and they have mostly been foxes. York County has had four. There were 106 rabies cases in wild animals in 2010 for the entire year, and 152 in 2009.

Colorado Squirrel and Cat test positive for Bubonic Plague; Typhus now endemic to Travis County, Texas; Montana authorizes trappers to shoot Wolves killing Calves; Beaver that attacked three people in Pennsylvania had Rabies; and Rabies reports from Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Albert's or Tassel-Eared Squirrel. Concentrations are found in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 06/04/11 denverpost.com: A pet cat and a dead squirrel have tested positive for the plague, the Daily Camera reports. The cat, which lived in the 2500 block of Sixth Street, tested positive for the bubonic plague after its owner took it into the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to be checked out by veterinarians, Boulder County health officials said. A dead squirrel found at the intersection of Eighth and Maxwell also tested positive for the plague. The cat was successfully treated with antibiotics. Plague occurs naturally in Colorado and is an infectious disease spread by fleas to wild rodents and other small mammals.

Texas 06/04/11 statesman.com: by Mary Ann Roser – From January to May, local health authorities investigated more typhus cases than they did during the same period last year and in 2009, another indication that the once-rare disease is now establishing itself in Central Texas. In five months, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department tallied eight probable and confirmed reports of murine typhus, not counting two others still under investigation. That compares with five probable and confirmed cases last year from January through May and six during that same period in 2009. Given the small numbers, the increase isn’t statistically significant, said Carole Barasch, health department spokeswoman. But after four years of annual outbreaks of murine typhus, it’s now clear the illness, which can be fatal, is endemic in Travis County, and residents need to take precautions, she said. Murine typhus is a flea-borne disease that commonly occurs in South Texas, California and Hawaii, with most cases reported from May through September. It is spread by fleas from rats, opossums, dogs, cats and raccoons. Humans contract it when an infected flea bites and leaves its feces on the bite wound. Symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, vomiting, nausea, muscle pain and rash. Patients generally respond to antibiotics, but some must be hospitalized. Two patients have been hospitalized this year; none died, Barasch said. Cases this year have been reported in four ZIP codes — 78722, 78703, 78704, and 78751 — and patients have ranged in age from 13 to 56, she said. For all of last year, the health department reported 14 confirmed and possible cases of typhus in Travis County; in 2009, there were 35 such cases, she said. A lack of rain can prompt animals to seek alternative water sources, possibly near dwellings and people. The health department advises that the public use flea control measures to protect themselves and their pets. Those steps include feeding pets indoors to avoid attracting wild animals to the neighborhood; clearing heavy undergrowth and debris from yards to keep animals from nesting; wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes when outside; and using insect repellents containing the active ingredient DEET. Statewide, the number of reported murine typhus cases has increased dramatically between 1998, when there were 45, and 2007 — the most recent year for data — when there were 169. That jump is the result of health officials more actively looking for cases, the state’s website says.

Montana 06/04/11 mtstandard.com: by Nick Gevock – Federal trappers confirmed three wolf attacks recently that left calves dead on private ranches near Dell, Polaris and Avon. In the incident near Dell, a wolf or wolves killed one calf, said Nathan Lance, Butte wolf biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Lance said biologists know of one pack in the area – the Four Eyes pack – but are uncertain if it was responsible. Biologists received a report of a lone wolf spotted in the area. The state authorized U.S. Wildlife Services to kill one wolf and collar another if they return. In another incident, the Bannack pack is believed to have attacked and killed a calf in the Grasshopper Valley west of Dillon. A federal trapper shot and killed one wolf, leaving three in the pack. Wolves also killed two calves on a private ranch near Avon. FWP does not know which pack was responsible. State biologists authorized trappers to shoot any wolves spotted on the ranch and has also issued the rancher shoot-on-sight permits for two wolves.

Pennsylvania 06/03/11 state.pa.us: Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, today announced test results for a beaver that attacked three individuals in northeast Philadelphia show that the animal was infected with the rabies virus.  Test results were provided to the Game Commission today, at 2:10 p.m., by the Department of Health’s Bureau of Laboratories in Exton, Chester County. Yesterday evening, the beaver carcass was taken to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, Kennett Square, Chester County, and prepared for transfer for rabies testing at the Department of Health facility.  A full necropsy will be conducted at New Bolton to determine if there were other potential causes, such as injury or another type of disease. As a precaution, Game Commission officials continue to encourage residents to avoid the Pennypack Creek waterfront area between Bustleton Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard in northeast Philadelphia.

Florida 06/03/11 floridatoday.com: by J.D. Gallop – Brevard County health officials are warning Cocoa residents to be on the alert after a woman was exposed to a rabid raccoon. The woman is being treated as a precaution, health officials reported. Authorities are also asking residents in the area of Fan Palm Avenue to contact Brevard County Health Department officials if they or their pets have been exposed to any stray animals. Health departments received confirmation Thursday of rabies present in the raccoon, which was found in the area of Fan Palm Avenue. Health officials warn residents to report any strange behavior by animals and to avoid touching or coming near wildlife such as raccoons or bats. Call (321) 454-7111 for more information.

Illinois 06/03/11 patch.com: A bat that tested positive for rabies was discovered at Oak Park School in Aurora earlier this week. The bat was found outside the building by a custodian early in the morning before school. There was no human exposure. Bats are the most common carrier of rabies in Illinois. Five bats testing positive were found in Kane County last year. Six were found in 2009, nine in 2008, five in 2007 and one in 2006. The last human case of rabies in Illinois was reported in 1954. For information about a referral for capturing bats or for submitting specimens for testing, please call Kane County Animal Control at (630) 232-3555.

Missouri 06/03/11 stltoday.com: The O’Fallon Police Department is requesting the public’s help in finding a dog that bit a 9-year-old boy. The boy was bitten about 8:30 a.m. May 24 near the intersection of Dona Jane and Collier in O’Fallon. The bite was not reported until that afternoon, and police have been unable to locate the dog. O’Fallon’s Animal Control Division and the police department are attempting to identify the dog to verify current rabies vaccinations. The dog is described as a yellow Labrador weighing 65-75 pounds. To report information that may assist in the investigation, call 636-240-3200.

New Hampshire 06/03/11 nashuatelegraph.com: by Joseph G. Cote – A fox that police “dispatched” Wednesday evening after it bit three people tested positive for rabies Thursday. Police and Fish and Game officials were able to lure the fox to a field near Back River Road and shot it around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. State lab tests revealed that the fox was rabid, according to Bedford police Sgt. Scott Plumer. Any residents who had contact with the fox are encouraged to contact their doctor and to contact their veterinarian if their pet had contact with the fox, Plumer said. Police were first called to 32 Back River Road around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after the fox attacked a 5-year-old boy, biting him on the left leg as he left his house. The boy’s mother was also bitten when she pried the animal off the little boy, police said. Bedford and state Fish and Game officers tried to track the fox and had to notify schools in the area. Later, the fox ran inside a day care center on Back River Road and bit a young girl, Fish and Game conservation officer Geoff Pushee said. Bedford police Sgt. Gary Norton said someone opened a door at the New Morning School at 23 Back River Road and the fox was right outside around 2 p.m. It bit a girl, who is about 4 years old but didn’t go into the building farther than the doorway. All three bite victims had scrapes and puncture wounds, but no life-threatening injuries, Norton said. Officers were able to use an electronic call that mimics a rabbit in distress to lure the fox to an area near Back River Road where it was shot, Pushee said.

Pennsylvania 06/03/11 altoonamirror.com: A bat found in an Altoona residence on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies, the state Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday. The bat flew into the Chestnut Avenue residence after it was initially found between the outside door and screen door. The department said the owner managed to get the bat out of the house, but the next morning found a dead bat on the front steps. No one in the home or any domestic animals had contact with the bat, Region 5 Domestic Animal Inspector Dawn M. Dilling said. But the threat was there, and this is a good example of why domestic animals that remain indoors should be vaccinated against rabies, Region 5 Supervisor of Dog Law Enforcement Harold Walstrom said Thursday. In addition to the Blair County case, department investigators have recently learned of positive rabies test results for a raccoon in Huntingdon County and another in Centre County. In Huntingdon County, a positive test came back Wednesday from a raccoon killed May 25 in the yard of a Cromwell Township residence, after the raccoon began chasing an individual. In Centre County, a raccoon tested positive for rabies on May 25. It was found May 19 in a yard by a homeowner who thought the raccoon was dead and put it in a plastic bag. When the raccoon began to make noise, the homeowner contacted a local wildlife rehabilitator. After the raccoon died, it was submitted for rabies testing.

Texas 06/03/11 dentonrc.com: by Donna Fielder – Authorities are warning residents in west Denton to watch their animals because of a confirmed case of rabies in a cat that bit a woman in the Ranch Estates neighborhood.  Officer Ryan Grelle said Thursday that an elderly resident feeds several cats in that area. Sometime within the past few days, one of the cats bit the elderly woman’s caretaker, he said. The cat was taken to a veterinarian and tested. On Wednesday, Denton Animal Services employees were notified that the test results were positive for rabies.  “The cat was put down and the caretaker is under medical care,” Grelle said. “We have put out traps, and any cat captured will be tested. The woman has promised to cooperate and turn over any cats that she feeds for testing as well.”

Virginia 06/04/11 washintonpost.com: Fairfax County police said a rabid cat bit an 11-year-old girl and a man, 25. The incident occurred about 7:45 a.m. Friday near the 4200 block of Lees Corner Road in the Chantilly area, police said. It was unclear how the two came into contact with the stray cat, but Brookfield Elementary School is in that block, and a stop for the county bus system is nearby. A neighborhood resident said stray cats had been seen in the past in a drainpipe. After the incident on Friday, county animal control officers captured the cat, which was euthanized and tested positive for rabies, authorities said. The cat was described as a black-striped brown tabby with yellow eyes. Authorities said its behavior was strange. Anyone who had contact with the cat in the past three weeks was asked to call animal control at 703-691-2131.

Wisconsin 06/03/11 wsau.com: The Marathon County health department is looking for a dog that bit a young man in the town of Bevent on Tuesday. “Chunk” is a Welsh corgi with short legs and mixed colors. It is not current on its rabies vaccinations. The dog bite happened on Pinery Road and Shawnee Drive. Authorities need to find the dog so they can take it to the Marathon County humane society. If you have information, you should call the health department at 715-261-1908 or the sheriff’s department at 715-849-7785. Finding the dog could prevent the victim from getting some painful rabies shots.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation credited with killing Deer breeding bill; NIH researcher finds some Mosquitoes carry two strains of Dengue; FDA warns Delta Airlines for violations including evidence of Rodents on planes; Indiana DNR to hear public comment on using live Coyotes and Foxes to train Dogs; a Coyote report from Massachusetts; and two Rabies reports from North Carolina. Canada: A Lyme Disease report from Nova Scotia, and a Rabies report from Ontario. Travel Warnings for Saudi Arabia.

Tennessee 04/21/11 knoxnews.com: by Bryan Brasher – The 2011-12 deer hunting season is still six months away. But as far as the folks from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation are concerned, state hunters have already recorded a very important kill. It was announced Wednesday that the “White-tailed Deer Breeding and Farming Act” has been withdrawn from the House general conservation and environment sub-committee and will no longer be considered during the current legislative session. TWF officials rallied hunters and wildlife enthusiasts from all over the state to contact their political representatives to express their concerns about the potential disease hazards that private deer farming might pose to the state’s flourishing wild herd. “The Tennessee Wildlife Federation led the charge, but our members and supporters did the real work,” said Mike Butler, CEO of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “More than 1,500 e-mails and phone calls have been directed to members of the Tennessee General Assembly during the past month from hunters and wildlife enthusiasts who know the breeding and sale of deer as livestock is a bad idea.” One of the TWF’s chief concerns during the campaign against the bill was the potential spread of chronic wasting disease — a fatal neurological ailment that is highly contagious once it’s unleashed on wild deer and elk herds. “In my 15 years of working on these issues at the General Assembly, this is the worst piece of legislation I have ever seen filed,” Butler said. “Sportsmen and taxpayers are spending millions in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and other places on diseases like CWD and bovine tuberculosis.” If the bill had passed, Butler said it would have been legal for deer farmers to raise and sell trophy-sized bucks for so-called “canned hunts” inside high-fence enclosures. He said TWF members were concerned about the perception that would create of Tennessee deer hunters on a nationwide level. “This bill is dead for this year but may come back next year,” Butler said. “However, we are confident that if a person looks at the science and is reasonable, they will come to the same conclusion we have.”

Global 04/22/11 nationmultimedia.com: The Department of Medical Sciences’ National Institute of Health yesterday revealed that one mosquito can carry two strains of dengue fever, as larvae can be infected with viruses through their mothers. The NIH also warned that this year’s weather changes could lead to an outbreak of the disease. After receiving an award for outstanding research yesterday for her study of the biology and infection rate of mosquitoes carrying dengue fever, NIH researcher Usavadee Thavara said she conducted the study

                                                        Dr. Usavadee Thavara                                                         in 25 dengue-hit provinces from 2006 to 2010 and found that two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and A albopictus, spread the disease’s four strains. The two species also evolved from usually living at altitudes no higher than 500 metres above sea level to being found at places as high as 1,509 metres at Chiang Rai’s Doi Tung area and 1,928 metres at Chiang Mai’s Doi Angkhang area. The two species, formerly active only in daytime, now also hunted at night, she said. While A aegypti’s highest biting rate was 45 mosquitoes per person per hour during summer, A albopictus’ highest rate was 18 per person per hour in winter, she said. The research also found that some mosquitoes could carry two dengue strains, as the mothers could pass on the virus to eggs so that when the larvae became adults they were ready to spread the virus, without needing to acquire it from a host. Previously it was believed that mosquitoes had to bite an infected person first to get the virus, she said. Hence the eradication of larvae would prevent a dengue outbreak.  Another NIH scientist, Apiwat Thawatsin, reported that in 2008, 89,626 people in Thailand contracted the disease, resulting in 102 deaths, while 2009 saw 56,651 patients and 50 deaths, and last year there were 113,017 patients and 139 deaths. For this year, he said there would be a serious dengue fever outbreak due to weather changes such as heavy rain in summer. People should prevent outbreaks by destroying mosquito incubation grounds, such as by putting Abate sand into standing water, he urged. Abate is a trade name for the larvicide temefos.

Global 04/20/11 examiner.com: by Nancy Zielinski, Grand Rapids Public Health Examiner – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, recently sent a letter of warning to Delta Airlines following an inspection conducted on a Delta aircraft in Atlanta, Georgia. That inspection revealed a number of violations, one of which, was the presence of rodent excreta pellets and rodent urine stains. According to the wildlife control firm, Critter Control in East Grand Rapids, rats are well-known carriers of many diseases – from bubonic plague to typhus. And rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, a rare and severe bacterial infection, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis, a viral infectious disease. The rodent droppings discovered in the Delta aircraft were found in ceiling panels, in the galley where food is prepared, and in areas above passenger seats. The FDA pointed out in their warning letter to Delta that recurrence was likely without adequate preventive measures taken. Delta was given 15 days to respond to the FDA on the specific steps they will take to correct the violations, and a plan to prevent future violations.

Indiana 04/21/11 indianas4.com: Hoosiers will soon have a chance to weigh in on a proposal to allow live coyotes and foxes to be used as bait to train dogs. Opponents of the measure say the fenced hunts are cruel. The state’s Department of Natural Resources says on its website that there’s no evidence dogs purposely kill coyotes or foxes in the enclosures. The enclosed hunts have been approved but won’t take effect until January, pending the public comment period.  The first meeting is set for May 10th at McCormick’s Creek State Park in Spencer. The second public forum will be held May 11th at the Webster Recreation Center in Plymouth.

Massachusetts 04/20/11 heraldnews.com: by Deborah Allard – As residents continue to report an increased coyote population in the town’s Gardners Neck Road area, town officials are seeking state help. Town Administrator James Kern, Selectmen Chairman Kenneth Furtado, Animal Control Officer Liz Botelho and fire Chief Peter Burke met recently with Laura Hadjuk, Furbearer Project Leader for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. She informed those at the meeting that what Swansea is seeing isn’t unusual. The town sought assistance after some residents said that besides an increase in the number of coyotes, the animals, some as big as German shepherds, also seem less fearful of people and at times aggressive. In November, a coyote jumped a fence on Louise Avenue and carried off a pet Chihuahua while its owner could do nothing but watch. At that time, Tom O’Shea, assistant director of Mass Wildlife, part of the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said the agency hadn’t heard of any growing problem with coyotes in the area. Kern said Hadjuk was very informed about coyotes, their behavior and how people can learn to cohabitate with the animals, by not leaving food out, and by keeping small animals indoors. The town of Middletown, R.I., recently changed its zoning laws to allow the hunting of coyotes, after it exhausted all other avenues. Furtado said Hadjuk will offer an educational presentation in Swansea and answer questions about coyotes. A date will be set after the annual Town Meeting in May. A list of coyote precautions is available on the town’s website, www.town.swansea.mass.us.

North Carolina 04/21/11 mcdowellnews.com: McDowell County has its first confirmed case of rabies for the year. On Wednesday, April 13, a registered nurse at the county Health Department, was notified by McDowell County animal control officers that a raccoon had tested positive for rabies. The raccoon was picked up by officer on Old Greenlee Road in the Old Fort area. This is the first rabies case confirmed in the county this year, according to a statement from the Health Department.

North Carolina 04/20/11 vancnews.com: By Luci Weldon – Warren County Animal Control has reported that two raccoons from the Lake Gaston area have tested positive for rabies. According to Elma Rae Greene, Animal Control director, an injured raccoon was found on April 9 in a yard near Laurel Bluff Drive. A second raccoon was reported by a passerby on Willie Robinson Road later the same day. The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health reported that so far in 2011, four raccoons in Warren County have tested positive for rabies.

Canada:

Nova Scotia 04/21/11 thechronicleherald.ca: by Andrei Dezsi – The tiny blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease are already biting this year. James Godwin, 61, was bitten by a tick two weeks ago after spending time in the woods near his home on Dartmouth Road in Bedford.  Godwin thought the tick was a skin tag when he first noticed it. The tick grew in size over two weeks before Godwin’s wife removed it. “We saw the legs moving and said, ‘Holy jumpin’, that’s a bug,’ ” Godwin said. Godwin has since visited a doctor and is taking antibiotics to fight an early symptom of the disease — a bull’s-eye red mark where he was bitten (which may but does not always appear). He brought the tick, which was still alive, to the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History on Wednesday morning. The Halifax museum helps track ticks so people know where they are commonly found.

Ontario 04/20/11 ownesoundsuntimes.com: The owner of a small dog that bit a boy in Owen Sound April 11 stepped forward after a plea from the Grey Bruce Health Unit Monday. Public health officials said Wednesday in a news release they are “confident” the boy was not exposed to the rabies virus. However, the animal is being kept isolated for one more day just to be sure no signs of the disease appear. The boy was walking alone on 14th St. W. when the dog, which was being walked by a woman, bit his finger. Though concerning, the injury was not serious, said Bob Hart with the health unit’s rabies program. Though the animal was vaccinated against rabies, it is being confined as per provincial protocol anyway, Hart said. “Public Health thanks the owner of the dog for coming forward . . . Public Health anticipates no further action in this matter,” the news release said. Last year there were 540 health unit reports into animal bites and scratches of humans, resulting in 30 people receiving rabies treatments.

Travel Warnings:

Saudi Arabia 04/22/11 saudigazette.com.sa: by Hussein Hazazi – Dengue fever is at epidemic proportions in Jeddah and will be hard to eradicate, according to Dr. Sami Eid, Assistant Director General of Health Affairs in Jeddah for Primary Health Care. Eid said the situation has worsened over the last few years because of the heavy downpours and floods in the governorate. Even though there has been a 50 percent drop in infected patients so far this year, compared to the same period last year, there are joint plans underway to eradicate the disease by the Jeddah Mayoralty, Ministry of Agriculture and Health Affairs. He said a preventive program is underway, which includes awareness campaigns on how residents can protect themselves. Eid said it will be difficult to fully eradicate the disease, especially at this time of the year. Mosquitoes which transmit the disease multiply from March to June, which results in a rise in infections. He also revealed a strategy for improving primary healthcare in the governorate. Six new primary healthcare centers will be opened next week in different parts of Jeddah.