Published Date: 2012-09-13 19:05:22
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - USA (20): (VA) beaver
Archive Number: 20120913.1293599
RABIES - USA (20): (VIRGINIA), BEAVER
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2012
Source: The Washington Post [edited]
Fairfax County Police say a beaver that was later found to be rabid chased some children at a nature center in West Springfield.
Officers say about 11:30 a.m. Saturday [8 Sep 2012], the children had just finished a swimming competition at the Hidden Pond Nature Center when they saw a beaver swimming toward the dock.
Police say the beaver leapt out of the water onto the dock, acting aggressively and chasing the children. An animal control officer went to the scene and shot the beaver.
Animal control officers had the beaver tested for rabies; the results were positive.
Last week, an 83-year-old woman was attacked by a rabid beaver in Lake Barcroft.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[Rodents and lagomorphs have never been implicated as a source of rabies epidemics in humans in the United States and are not considered natural reservoirs. However, occasionally, these animals are involved in potential rabies exposures to humans and other species. Many of these animals are tested for rabies in the USA every year. Very few of these result in a positive finding, most likely due to the improbability that [small] rodents might survive injuries suffered during encounters with rabid carnivores. However, since 1980, rabies has been increasingly reported in large native North American rodents, such as the woodchuck and the beaver. These large rodents can exhibit aggressive behavior and initiate unprovoked attacks when rabid, just as reported in this posting.
The occurrence of these infrequent cases is usually associated with recent rabies epidemics in raccoons.
A HealthMap of the affected area can be accessed at http://healthmap.org/r/3psh. - Mod.PMB]
http://www.kdwpt.state.ks.us/var/news/storage/images/hunting/fur_harvest/furbearer_gallery/beaver_castor_canadensis/11744-2-eng-US/beaver_castor_canadensis_imagelarge.jpg - Mod.JW]