Sunday, July 1, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - Americas (34): USA

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

[1] Maine - River otter, person
[2] Maine - Fox, skunk, persons
[3] Delaware - Fox, dog, person
[4] North Carolina - feline, persons
[5] South Carolina - feline, persons
[6] Florida - feline, canine, persons
[7] Kentucky - bats, persons

[1] Maine - River otter, person
Date: 30 Jun 2018
Source: WABI TV [edited]

A river otter that bit a woman in Rockland, Maine, Wed 27 Jun 2018,
has tested positive for rabies, according to the Village Soup. We're
told the animal ran onto South End Beach.

Authorities spent hours looking for the otter, which made its way
around the area before returning to the busy beach.

Officials euthanized the animal before sending it to a state lab.

The woman has already begun treatment for rabies.

Communicated by:

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Maine, United States: <>]

[2] Maine - fox, skunk, persons
Date: 25 Jun 2018
Source: Times Record [edited]

A Brunswick woman attacked by a rabid fox while getting her mail on 17
Jun 2018 said she wants others to always be aware of their
surroundings and to take precautions.

The victim said at 1st she wasn't afraid of the animal, as she
frequently sees wildlife on her morning walk. The 72-year-old victim
suddenly knew she was about to be attacked, but there wasn't much she
could do to defend herself. She grabbed the fox's neck as it knocked
her off her feet and began to scream. Her screams were for help and
from the pain of the fox biting at her legs and right arm.

The victim said the neighbor, a 2nd victim, was able to get the rabid
fox off her. The 2nd victim would be treated for injuries to his hand
[and for rabies - Mod.TG].

Two officers were dispatched to the scene, where one of them shot the
fox. It later tested positive for rabies.

The victim is now taking a series of shots to treat the rabies. Her
legs are giving her the most pain, as the fox primarily attacked below
the knee. Both victims were treated at Mid Coast Hospital in

It was the 2nd incident in Brunswick involving a rabid animal in a
week. Police say on the morning of 13 Jun 2018, a woman on High Street
let her dog outside, where it got into a fight with a skunk, according
to Brunswick Animal Control Officer Heidi Nelson. Nelson and an animal
damage control agent responded to the incident and were able to
capture the animal. The skunk was euthanized and taken to Augusta,
where it tested positive for rabies. The owner's dog and another
neighborhood dog who came into contact with the skunk earlier have
been quarantined.

Police notified the public of both incidents via social media
Wednesday [20 Jun 2018?], a week after the 1st incident occurred.

According to Patrol Commander Tom Garrepy, it can take a few days to
notify the public as the testing in Augusta takes a couple of days.

"We would tell anyone that if you see an animal acting strange call
us," said Garrepy. "We probably get 1-2 of these a year. When they
happen close together, it's more of an anomaly."

"As a reminder, vaccinate your pets; do not approach wildlife, and
call the police if you see an animal acting aggressively," police
stated on Facebook.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, 67
animals tested positive for rabies in 2017. There have been at least
30 positive cases to date in 2018. By far the most common animals to
test positive for rabies are raccoons.

Nelson recommended that residents avoid leaving food sources out for
animals, such as trash bags, which will draw wild animals who may have
rabies into populated areas.

Rabies is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and is
usually spread through a bite or scratch from a wild animal that has
the virus. If left untreated, it can lead to death.

The Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory recommends
vaccinating pets against rabies as required by law. Avoid contact with
wild animals like bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons that are common
carriers of the disease, especially if they are behaving oddly. If
bitten or scratched by a wild animal, you should contact an animal
control officer or warden service immediately.

[Byline Chris Qattrucci]

Communicated by:

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Maine, United States: <>]

[3] Delaware - Fox, dog, person
Date: 29 Jun 2018
Source: Delaware News Journal [edited]

A fox captured southwest of Rehoboth Beach, near Angola, tested
positive for rabies this week after biting both a human and a dog.

The victim and the victim's dog were walking in the area of Camp
Arrowhead Road between Marsh Island Golf Club and Angola Road when
they were bitten by the fox, according to Delaware's Division of
Public Health.

The fox was later captured and taken to the public health lab, where
test results on Tuesday [26 Jun 2018] confirmed it had rabies.

The victim has begun treatment for rabies exposure, while the victim's
dog, which was up to date on its rabies vaccinations, is under
quarantine, according to the Public Health Division.

Since 1 Jan 2018, the Division of Public Health has performed rabies
tests on 68 animals, 8 of which were confirmed to be rabid. They were
2 foxes (including this one), 2 raccoons, one sheep, one cat and 2

Rabies affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals and
cannot be cured once symptoms appear. Infection can occur through the
bite or scratch of an infected animal or if saliva from such an animal
gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or an opening in the skin.

Health officials recommend people stay away from wild and feral
animals, make sure their pets are up to date with rabies shots and
keep the animals indoors or on a leash while outside.

For more information, visit

[Byline: Jessica Bies]

Communicated by:

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Delaware, United States: <>]

[4] North Carolina - feline, persons
Date: 22 Jun 2018
Source: Tech Times [edited]

Wake County authorities warn the public to be extra wary after a
person was bitten by a rabid kitten.

In the last few months, there have been many cases of animal
encounters that resulted in the people involved to require rabies
treatments. On Tuesday [19 Jun 2018], another unfortunate animal
encounter occurred near Wake Forest in North Carolina when a person
was attacked and bitten by a kitten. The victim was immediately
treated for rabies, and test results revealed that the kitten was,
indeed, rabid.

Evidently, this was already the 3rd rabid cat attack in the area, as 2
other Wake County residents were also bitten by rabid cats in May
2018. According to Wake County Animal Control, residents must be extra
wary of stray cats, as the chances of encountering rabid animals
statistically rises when the weather is warm.

In North Carolina, the law requires pets to be vaccinated with the
rabies vaccine. In fact, the Wake County Animal Center even provides
the rabies vaccine for just USD 5. That said, authorities advise pet
owners to keep their pets' vaccination up to date and to contact a
veterinarian if they are unsure whether their pets have been
vaccinated properly, and on schedule.

Any wild or unfamiliar animal should not be approached even if it
seems to be behaving normally, and any animal that seems to be
exhibiting signs of rabies must be immediately reported to
authorities. [The problem with this article is that it does not inform
the public what the signs of rabies are. Please see the moderator's
comment for clinical signs. - Mod.TG]

Similar advice goes for when a pet gets into a fight or is attacked by
a potentially rabid animal. The animal must immediately be reported to
authorities, and the pet must immediately be taken to a health care
provider to receive the appropriate rabies treatment. Even if the pet
already has the rabies vaccine at the time of the bite, they must
still receive a booster shot within 72 hours of the bite.

Any bite from a potentially rabid animal must immediately be washed
clean with soap and water, and the person must be immediately taken to
the doctor to receive proper medical attention.

[Byline: Athena Chan]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
North Carolina, United States: <>]

[5] South Carolina - feline, persons
Date: 21 Jun 2018
Source: ABC News 4 [edited]

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported
Thursday [21 Jun 2018] that multiple people have been referred to
their health care provider after being potentially exposed to rabies
by a stray cat that tested positive for the disease.

The cat was found near Cry Babies Tavern located on Boundary Street in
Beaufort. DHEC has reason to believe the stray cat had kittens that
live near Cry Babies Tavern. The department cannot confirm whether the
kittens have rabies, as they have not been caught or submitted for
testing. The Department is working with local animal control to
investigate the whereabouts of the kittens.

The stray cat was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on 19 Jun
2018 and was confirmed to have rabies on 20 Jun 2018. The cat was
described as black with medium-length hair and having a small build;
it also had white accents on its chest and face.

"Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite, which allows saliva
from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or
another animal. However, saliva or neural tissue contact with open
wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also
potentially transmit rabies," said David Vaughan, director of rabies

This stray cat is the 5th animal in Beaufort County to test positive
for rabies in 2018. There have been 39 confirmed cases of animal
rabies statewide this year [2018]. In 2017, 5 of the 63 confirmed
rabies cases in South Carolina were in Beaufort County.

Communicated by:

HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
South Carolina, United States: <>

[6] Florida - feline, canine, persons
Date: 21 Jun 2018
Source: Bay News 9 [edited]

The Hillsborough County Health Department is warning residents in the
Gibsonton area of a neighborhood cat that tested positive for rabies.

Officials say the grey tabby domestic shorthair cat lived around E.
Bay Road and exposed at least one adult, one child, and one domestic
dog. The 2 people who have been exposed have already begun rabies post
exposure vaccines, officials said, and the dog received a booster for
rabies and is being quarantined for 45 days.

The cat also recently gave birth to several kittens, officials said.
The kittens will also be tested for rabies.

Officials are trying to locate anyone else who may have been exposed
to the cat. The DOH-Hillsborough will notify all homes within a
500-foot radius of where the cat was found. Anyone who has been
bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of this cat is asked to
report the exposure to DOH-Hillsborough.

DOH-Hillsborough strongly recommends avoiding contact with wildlife or
any unknown animal.

Hillsborough County has identified 5 rabid animals -- 3 cats, one bat,
and one raccoon -- exposing 13 people and 2 domestic dogs to the
disease so far this year [2018].

Officials advise residents to take the following precautions:

*Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.

*If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance
for the animal immediately, and contact the Hillsborough County Pet
Resource Center.

*Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with
open garbage cans or litter.

*Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

*Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic,
even if they appear friendly.

*Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in
homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might
come into contact with people and pets.

Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals
should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida
Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Florida, United States: <>

[7] Kentucky - bats, persons
Date: 20 Jun 2018
Source: Lex 18 [edited]

Two more bats found in Lexington have tested positive for rabies,
local health department officials said.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department said on Wednesday [20
Jun 2018] afternoon that bats found in homes in the Lakeview Acres and
Cumberland Hills neighborhoods on the county's south end were found to
have rabies.

Rabies, a viral disease of humans, pets and wild animals, is
transmitted from animals to humans by the saliva of a rabid animal,
usually from a bite. State law requires that all dogs, cats, and
ferrets have a current rabies vaccination.

In late May 2018, the health department said a rabid bat had been
found in a home in the Radcliffe/Marlboro neighborhood [Generally,
when a bat or bats are found in a home, the residents may be
vaccinated, as they cannot tell whether they were bitten in their
sleep. - Mod.TG].

The health department says it has posted signs in the affected
neighborhoods to warn residents.

Officials also said that residents should ensure that their pets are
up to date on vaccinations.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Kentucky, United States: <>

This particular update is diverse in the animals represented.

Rabid animals are unpredictable, as many of these articles show. Even
if you are in an urban/suburban/city area, your pet still needs a
rabies prevention vaccine.

Most all mammals are susceptible to the rabies virus. Build a wall
between the virus and yourself by vaccinating your pets, regardless of
their size or use.

For information on wildlife reservoirs of rabies in the USA, go to

Genetic evidence suggests that rabies is an old disease for bats in
the New World. Bats from most of the bat species in North America,
when sampled in sufficient numbers, have been found to be infected
with rabies virus. Rabies viruses recovered from bats were shown to be
distinct from rabies viruses recovered from terrestrial mammals,
suggesting that these viruses evolved within their bat hosts. Bat
rabies viruses are genetically diverse, exhibiting mutations
characteristic to each host bat species. Bat rabies can be transmitted
to humans and domestic animals, being almost always fatal.

One of the articles said to look for the clinical signs of rabies.
There are 2 forms of rabies. The furious form is what movies have
portrayed and most people probably think rabies is. The animal in this
form of rabies may salivate profusely (drool), be vicious, attack
animals, people, and even objects in some accounts. This aggressive
behavior may be out of character for some domestic animals. While pain
of a broken limb may also cause a calm animal to be vicious, these
must be differentiated from an animal not appearing to be injured but
expressing a personality change with a vicious temper.

The other form of rabies is known as the dumb form. These animals may
be withdrawn and uncharacteristically fearful. These animals may also

Raccoon distemper often presents in an odd fashion and may be mistaken
for rabies. These animals may wobble, have no fear of humans, but are
often weak. This is a disease requiring distinction, and when in
doubt, then it is best not to take a chance with your life, as rabies,
without post exposure treatment is fatal.

While some of these articles did a reasonable job of pointing out
regulations requiring vaccination of animals, only one mentioned the
cost of the vaccine. However, none of these articles promoted a
vaccine drive or overtly encouraged people to get their animals
vaccinated. Hence, please vaccinate your pet. Make sure your animal is
up to date, and check on what regulations your county may have. Some
counties may require a vaccine more often if there is a large presence
of rabies in a particular area.

Build a barrier between this fatal disease and yourself by vaccinating
your animals. It may also save your pet's life. While they may have to
be revaccinated and quarantined if exposed to a rabid animal, you are
more likely to have your pet, than to bury or cremate it. - Mod.TG]

[See Also:
Rabies (20): Americas (USA) bat, human exposure
Rabies (17): Americas (USA) bat, human exp
Rabies (06): Americas (USA) human, bat, canine exposure
Rabies (04): Americas (USA, Brazil) bat, human, Milwaukee protocol
Rabies (42): Americas (USA) bat, human exp
Rabies (34): Americas (USA) bat, human exp
Rabies (28): Americas (USA) bat, human exp
Food contamination, bat - USA: (FL) salad, recall, rabies vacc advised
Rabies - Americas (39): USA new rule, raccoon, bat, human exp.
Rabies - Americas (36): USA (CO) bat, human exp
Rabies - Americas (35): USA (TX,UT) bat, human exposure
Rabies - Americas (33): USA, Canada, equine, wildlife, bat, human exp
Rabies - Americas (32): USA, wildlife, bat, human exposure
Rabies - Americas (28): USA (IL) bat, human exposure
Rabies - Americas (16): USA, feline, canine, bat, human exposure
Rabies - USA (44): (GA) bat, human exposure
Rabies - USA (41): (OR) bat, human exposure
Rabies - USA (39): (TX) bat, human exposure, Alert
Rabies - USA (36): (CA) bat, human exp
Rabies - USA (30): (MO) bat, canine, human exposure
Rabies - USA (28): (MS) bat strain in a cat
Rabies - USA (22): (WA,KS) bat, wildlife, human exp
Rabies - USA (19): (MO) bat, canine, human exposure
Rabies - USA (17): bats, feral cats, canine, human exposure
Rabies - USA (12): (NM) fox, human exp, new bat strain virus
Rabies - USA (10): bat, poss. human exp.
Rabies - USA (09): (FL) bat, human exposure susp
Rabies - USA (31): (SC) bat, canine & human exp
Rabies - USA (21): (TX) bat, human exposures
Rabies - USA (19): (RI) bat exposure
Rabies - USA (15): (SC) bat, human exposure
Rabies - USA (10): (AK) bat
Rabies - USA (07): (NY) bats, children exposures, alert]
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