Published Date: 2004-11-08 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies, bear - Romania (02)
Archive Number: 20041108.3019
RABIES, BEAR - ROMANIA (02)
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 8 Nov 2004
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Eurosurveillance Weekly, 4 Nov 2004, Vol. 8 Issue 45 [edited]
Attack by bear with rabies in Brasov county, Romania
On 16 Oct 2004, a single bear was reported to have attacked several people
in the forest surrounding Brasov, a city of 400 000 inhabitants in
Transylvania, central Romania. One man, who was picking mushrooms deep in
the forest, was killed by the bear, and 11 others, who were picnicking near
the edge of the forest, were wounded, 7 severely. The local hunters
association sent a hunter who shot the bear dead several hours later.
The local public health authorities took the wounded to the local hospital,
where the 7 with severe injuries underwent surgery. All 11 patients
received tetanus anti-toxin as post-exposure prophylaxis. One of the
severely injured patients, who had diabetes, died in the hospital on 17 Oct
A special commission to handle the incident was established in Brasov,
composed of public health directorate staff and local veterinarian staff.
On 17 Oct 2004, the local veterinary authorities in Brasov county reported
an initial diagnosis (made by direct immunofluorescence) of rabies in the
bear. Virological and histopathological examinations carried out by these
authorities confirmed the diagnosis the next day. This was also confirmed
by the Institutul National pentru Sanatatea Animala Bucuresti (National
Institute for Animal Health in Bucharest) on 19 Oct 2004.
Following the diagnosis, the local public health authorities immediately
began to list all people associated with the event, including those who
were involved in medical care and transportation of the wounded, so that
they could all be offered post-exposure rabies vaccination.
All 11 of the wounded people received anti-rabies serum and rabies vaccine
(1st dose). A total of 97 people were vaccinated against rabies. The public
health authorities will follow the completion of the post-exposure
Measures taken by veterinarian authorities include:
- 3rd degree quarantine -- as defined by the Romanian National Sanitary
Veterinary Agency -- in a 15 km radius around the area of the attacks, and
epizootic surveillance in a 30 km radius around the area. The quarantine
means a vaccination campaign for all animals in the zone (including oral
vaccination for foxes), controls on the movement of animals in the zone,
restricting human circulation in the zone, and increased surveillance of
animal health in the zone.
- The completion of a rabies immunization for all dogs in Brasov county.
- Increased public information campaigns regarding rabies, via
television, radio, and newspapers.
- Prophylactic immunization to be offered to all those with no record of
immunization who work in forested areas in Brasov county.
In 2003, there were 2 reported cases of rabies in foxes near Brasov, one in
a village 75 km from Brasov city and the other less than 15 km from the
city. There have been no other cases reported so far in 2004. The likely
source of the bear infection is other woodland animals, possibly foxes or
[Byline: Alexandru Rafila1 <email@example.com>, Dan Nicolaiciuc /1, Adriana
Pistol /1, Elena Darstaru /2, and Alexandru Grigoriu /2
1/ Directia generala de sanatate publica si inspectia sanitara de stat,
2/ Directia de sanatate publica, Brasov, Romania]
[ProMED-mail appreciates when there are official reports detailing health
events/outbreaks of interest to ProMED-mail readers as follow-up to
newswire reports. Eurosurveillance Weekly is an excellent source of such
information. - Mod.MPP]