Published Date: 2010-06-13 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies update - USA (02): June 2010
Archive Number: 20100613.1988
RABIES UPDATE - USA (02): JUNE 2010
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
,  Colorado
 New Mexico
 South Carolina
Date: 1 Jun 2010
Source: Denver Channel 4 [edited]
Rabies has now become an epidemic along the Front Range. The
Tri-County Health Department says its already seen as many rabid
skunks so far this year  as it did in all of last year.
40 skunks have tested positive so far this year . The outbreak
is primarily in skunks right now, although 2 foxes, one deer and a
muskrat have also tested positive [Unless it is a captive deer, we do
not hear much about deer having rabies, but any mammal is susceptible
to the virus. - Mod.TG].
While health officials say that all dogs and cats should be
vaccinated, they're especially trying to make horse owners aware that
they should get rabies shots for their animals. This hasn't been a
common vaccination in the past like it has been for dogs and cats,
which is why they're reaching out to horse owners.
Two horses have come down with rabies and died. One horse in El Paso
County died in September [2009?]. The other horse was from Arapahoe
County and died in April [2010?]. The American Horse Council estimates
that there are 256 000 in Colorado and about 56 000 horse owners.
"Rabies is circulating in skunks in rural areas east of I-25," said
Richard Vogt, Tri-County Health Department Executive Director. "It's
moving closer to more densely-populated areas of metro Denver."
For more information on rabies, visit <http://www.tchd.org/rabies.htm>.
[Byline: Andrea Lopez]
Date: 2 Jun 2010
Source: ABC15.com [edited]
A persistent rabies outbreak has prompted a renewed cat quarantine in
areas around Flagstaff through at least mid-September 2010.
The lockdown of domestic cats will allow health and wildlife officials
to trap local wildlife and to disperse vaccine in feed packets
scattered about the area. Dogs are already subject to leash laws.
Oral rabies vaccine packets will also be scattered using air drops in
areas from Williams to Winona and prompt localized lockdowns lasting
about 2 weeks.
Coconino County's Board of Supervisors approved the quarantine on
Tuesday for east Flagstaff, Mount Elden and Cheshire. It takes effect
in 2 weeks.
Last year , 35 wild animals tested positive for rabies in the
county, and one man was attacked by a rabid animal in his driveway.
 New Mexico
Date: 2 Jun 2010
Source: News-Bulletin [edited]
Have you ever seen a vicious horse frothing at the mouth, pawing the
ground with glaring eyes in a rabid attack? Well, you're not likely
to, either. That's because the symptoms for equine rabies are not the
same as the canine variety.
The problem is a lot of people don't even know that horses can get
rabies. By the time it's diagnosed, it's too late.
The clinical signs for rabies in horses can be misleading because
they're not obvious. "In horses, anything a nerve controls can go
wrong. A horse may seem lame, act colicky or be choking," said William
Thompson, DVM at the Los Lunas Animal Clinic. "By the time you figure
it out, it's already advanced and may have exposed neighboring horses."
There has been an increase in equine rabies in New Mexico over the
past couple of years. "What's happening is, 10 years ago you'd hardly
see any cases of rabies. Now you're a lot more likely to," said
Thompson. "There's been an increase in rabid animals moving south from
Colorado and north from southern New Mexico."
New Mexico has traditionally not been a state with much rabies, but
now that there is an increase in rabid animals the risk of exposure is
high, said the vet.
"Valencia County is particularly at risk because it's heavily
populated, and there are lots of potential carriers like coyotes,
skunks, bats, domestic dogs, foxes," Thompson said. "Most mammals can
be carriers. Skunks and foxes can always be carriers, and skunks are
attracted to barns."
Worldwide it's a huge problem, especially in economically
disadvantaged countries. People are dying of it because of a lack of
vaccines. "When people get exposed, once they start showing signs,
it's nearly always fatal," Thompson said, "same as horses."
Once a horse has shown signs of exposure, it's 7 to 10 days and the
horse will die. "It's a 100 percent fatal disease, and it's 100
percent preventable," the vet said. There is no long-term vaccine for
horses like the 3-year vaccine for dogs. "Horses need annual shots and
should receive their 1st one at 3 months old, then one year, and every
year thereafter," Thompson said.
You can get your horse's rabies shot and other vaccines such as West
Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (sometimes called
"Possum Disease" or sleeping sickness) and Coggins tests for
Infectious Anemia. "The state is trying to make Coggins more
mandatory," said Thompson. "It's another disease that when you find
it, it's too late."
"With a lot of health issues, whether in people or animals, prevention
is better than treatment," Thompson said.
[Byline: Deborah Fox]
Date: 2 Jun 2010
Source: Montgomery News [edited]
A stray cat that tested positive for rabies in Whitpain should serve
as a red flag for pet owners.
For pets that have not received the rabies vaccination, exposure is
essentially a death sentence, according to Dr. Shaun Johnson, a
veterinarian at the North Penn Animal Hospital in Towamencin.
Johnson said the viral disease, which affects the animal's
neurological system, spreads quickly. Families with rabid pets are
also at risk, according to Johnson. He said people diagnosed with
rabies rarely live without treatment.
The county Public Health Code and state law requires all cats and dogs
3 months of age and older must be vaccinated against the virus. County
law also requires pet ferrets to be vaccinated, according to Harriet
Morton, the communications manager for the Montgomery County Health
Department. She said the ultimate intent is to protect residents from
rabies, a potentially fatal condition.
Four cases of rabies [in animals] have been confirmed in Montgomery
County during 2010, including the stray cat found in Whitpain.
Untreated, the viral disease is nearly always fatal, according to
Morton. [Sadly, rabies is almost always a fatal disease in humans, and
is a fatal disease in unvaccinated animals. - Mod.TG]
Montgomery County has no record of any human rabies infections, she said.
In 2009, the county handled 14 reported rabies, 10 raccoons, 2 skunks,
one fox and one bat. Most of the infected animals are wild, according
to Morton. She said the county health department advises residents to
avoid nocturnal creatures that approach them during the day.
For more information on rabies, visit <http://www.cdc.gov/rabies>.
[Byline: Bradley Schlegel]
Date: 3 Jun 2010
Source: Heartland Connection [edited]
8 Macon County citizens are undergoing treatment after being exposed
to a rabies-infected bat in their home. Judy Rushton, Administrator of
the Macon County Health Department, said Cindy Malloy, RN, is leading
the investigation and coordinating efforts with the family, animal
control and healthcare providers.
She added that the 8 victims are expected to be okay.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in
warm-blooded animals. It is most often spread through a bite by an
infected animal. Rabies is almost always fatal if treatment is not
administered soon after infection.
"Anyone who encounters a live or dead bat in their home in the City of
Macon should call Animal Control at: (660) 676-8309. Other Macon
County residents should call the Macon County Health Department at
People are urged to be cautious around wildlife, especially bats, and
to avoid contact with any animal that is behaving strangely. In
addition, children should be taught to stay a safe distance from
"Most bats do not carry rabies, and in fact perform a beneficial
service by eating large quantities of insects," Rushton said.
"However, if one bat in a colony becomes infected with rabies, it's
likely the disease will spread to others in the colony."
In 2009, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
reported 65 confirmed cases of rabies in animals. So far this year
, there have been 19 confirmed cases, most of them from the
south-central part of Missouri.
The bat found in the local family's home is the 1st animal to test
positive for rabies in Macon County this year .
(The preceding is a press release from the Macon County Health Department.)
Date: 4 Jun 2010
Laboratory reports have confirmed that a raccoon found in the vicinity
of Rocket Place in the village of Lowellville on state Route 289
tested positive for rabies.
Officials from the Ohio Department of Health did a preliminary test on
the raccoon that indicated it had rabies, and the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the finding, said Mary Helen
Smith of the Mahoning County District Board of Health.
The raccoon was found 30 Apr 2010, and the results from the state lab
were received 7 May 2010.
Although there were no known exposures to other animals or humans in
this case, Smith reminded residents to protect themselves from the
threat of rabies by following these rules:
Date: 7 Jun 2010
Source: TC Palm.com [edited]
Indian River County's month-long rabies alert has been expanded
countywide following confirmation of rabies in a raccoon that attacked
a person and a dog without provocation in the north county, according
to the Indian River County Health Department.
It is the 5th unprovoked attack on humans in the last month [May
2010], Health Department spokeswoman Cheryl Dunn said in a statement.
Her agency is calling on residents to avoid wild or stray animals,
especially raccoons, skunks and bats that attack, stumble or act
Previously, the alert included the barrier island north of Vero Beach
to County Road 510 and the mainland around Vero Beach.
Following the 5 attacks, county officials were able to capture 2
raccoons and one stray cat that all tested positive for rabies. "It is
unusual for wild animals to attack humans," Dunn said, so anyone who
is attacked, scratched or bitten should seek medication treatment.
Any animal attacks should be reported to Indian River County Animal
Control. Vero Beach residents should call the Vero Beach Police
[Byline: Elliott Jones]
Date: 9 Jun 2010
Source: SCNTX.com [edited]
A rabid skunk was found on the west side of town last month [May
2010], prompting The Colony Animal Control officers to remind
residents to be wary of animals that are known to carry the rabies
The state of Texas cites 5 species as being the highest risks for
carrying the rabies virus: coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, and bats.
Texas Master Naturalist Donna Cole said skunks are the biggest rabies
carrier in the state. As with all wildlife, residents are encouraged
to minimize the potential for contact with skunks.
Skunks might also nest in sheds or attics, so Cole recommends checking
those locations as well.
Cole said skunks are nocturnal and that the only time she ever sees
them around town is late at night, often rooting around trash
receptacles. "I've seen them at dusk on the Shoreline Trail, too, but
that's where they're supposed to be so that's good," she said. "But if
you see one during the day, that's very suspect," and is an indicator
the animal might be sick.
Since 1 Jan 2010, there have been 5 positive rabies cases in animals
confirmed in Denton County. According to a release from the city,
rabies is a common concern in Texas, as there are hundreds of
confirmed cases each year in the state. The risk of exposure increases
during spring and summer as there is more activity on the part of
animals and humans alike.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and nerves and is
carried in the saliva of an affected mammal. Exposure most often
occurs when a rabid animal bites another animal or a person.
There are, however, other methods of exposure. Many animals groom
themselves by licking their paws and rubbing their neck and face.
Exposure can occur when an infected animal scratches another animal or
person. Saliva from an infected animal coming into contact with the
eyes, nose, mouth or open wound of another animal or person may also
spread the virus.
[Byline: Blaine Crimmins]
Date: 9 Jun 2010
Source: Click On Detroit.com [edited]
Royal Oak officials are warning residents after a fourth case of rabid
skunk is found. The skunk was reportedly lying on someone's front lawn
and appeared to be dying.
Officers also responded to a case on 28 May 2010, where a skunk that
appeared to be rabid was on the property of Nelson Brothers Plumbing.
The skunk tested positive and was destroyed.
"Be alarmed if you see these wild animals wandering about during the
day," Royal Oak Police Lt. Gordon Young said. "If bitten by any wild
animal or stray domestic animal, wash the affected area thoroughly
with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately."
Date: 8 Jun 2010
Source: Belgrade News [edited]
State officials slapped a rabies quarantine on Yellowstone County Thu
3 Jun 2010 after the disease was confirmed in a horse in Worden, the
Montana Department of Livestock said Tue 8 Jun 2010. An epidemiologic
investigation is underway to determine if other animals or humans were
exposed, the agency said.
Under Montana law, counties are quarantined when rabies is confirmed
in an animal such as a dog, cat, skunk or fox. All unvaccinated dogs,
cats and ferrets in quarantined counties must be vaccinated a minimum
of 2 weeks prior to any being taken out of the quarantined county. The
quarantine will remain in place for 60 days.
State veterinarian Marty Zaluski said rabies is endemic to Montana and
generally surfaces in late spring and early summer. "It's the time of
year when pet and livestock owners need to be vigilant and take proper
precautions," Zaluski said. "Unusual behavior, such as abnormal motor
skills (staggering, walking in circles, etc.), being out in daylight
hours and showing no fear of humans are classic signs of the disease
and should always send up a red flag."
Abnormal behavior is the most consistent sign of the disease, Zaluski
said. Rabies can take on 2 forms in animals, dumb or furious.
With the dumb form, animals become shy or hide and are often
unapproachable. They may also be sluggish and act depressed or
confused. With the furious form, animals are excitable, irritable and
act aggressively. They may attack suddenly when approached.
Other signs of rabies include drooling; inability to eat, drink or
swallow; frothing at the mouth; and staggering, weakness, convulsions
and paralysis, Zalusky said. Animals will normally become comatose
prior to death.
Nationally, most reported rabies cases occur in wild animals like
raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes, he said. In Montana, bats and skunks
have accounted for more than 90 percent of the cases reported since
Rabies causes 1-2 human deaths per year in the United States,
according to the Centers for Disease Control. Globally, it accounts
for more than 55 000 human deaths a year, mostly in Asia and Africa.
Montana Department of Livestock:
Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services:
USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control: <http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/>
 South Carolina
Date: 10 Jun 2010
Source: WYFF channel 4 [edited]
South Carolina officials issued a rabies warning on Thursday [10 Jun
2010] for Greenville County, according to a release from the
Department of Health and Environmental Control.
A woman in downtown Greenville was bitten by a racoon that tested
positive for rabies, officials confirmed. That woman is currently
receiving preventive treatment.
Health officials said this is the 1st confirmed rabid animal in the
county so far this year . Last year, there were 11 cases
recorded in Greenville County, and 152 confirmed cases in the state.
Officials urge all residents follow this simple advice: avoid wild
animals acting tame, and tame animals acting wild.
[The same theme is echoed in most of these posts: if an animal is
acting unusual, call the animal control authorities. Prevent rabies in
your pets, including horses, through vaccination. This also helps
protect you. - Mod.TG]