Published Date: 2012-09-24 23:36:39
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - Romania: (DB) bear, human exposure
Archive Number: 20120924.1306993
RABIES - ROMANIA: (DAMBOVITA) BEAR, HUMAN EXPOSURE
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 19 Sep 2012
Source: Reuters.com [edited]
Police and hunters were tracking a brown bear which attacked and killed a man in the south of Romania on Wednesday [19 Sep 2012], just days after a bear infected with rabies was shot dead after it killed a man and injured 2 others in the same area.
Romania boasts roughly half of Europe's brown bears living in its largely unspoilt Carpathian Mountains, with an estimated 4000-7000 animals, according to environmentalists.
The bear, which killed the 64-year-old man on Wednesday [19 Sep 2012] in Dambovita county, northwest of Bucharest, had escaped from a poacher's trap before it attacked. It then disappeared into a forested area nearby.
"The bear was tangled in a trap and hurt. We do not know if the man who was attacked was just passing by or whether he had laid the trap himself," Dragos Rusu, prefect of Dambovita county, told local television station Realitatea TV.
The area around the scene of Saturday's [15 Sep 2012] bear attack, which killed a 71-year-old man in his orchard, has been placed under quarantine after preliminary autopsy results showed the animal had rabies. 2 other people were also injured.
Romania's mountains have been home to brown bears for centuries, and their numbers surged in the 1970s and 80s, when hunting had been banned.
Now the law limits bear hunting to a little under 350 animals a year, which officials said is needed to maintain their population, but poaching may lift the figure higher.
Bears are often seen foraging through trashcans in Romanian mountain towns, and there have been cases of bears breaking into apartment buildings, backyards, or pubs.
Several people, including foreign tourists, have been killed or injured by hungry or scared bears, and environmentalists have warned the animals' natural habitat is being destroyed by construction and food resources are becoming scarce.
[Byline: Luiza Ilie, Ioana Patran]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[Growing numbers of people and a large bear population set the stage for an increasing human-wildlife interface that might result in increased pathogen circulation and spill-over. The dominant carnivore species of a given region usually plays an important role in the circulation and maintenance of rabies.
A picture of a Romanian black bear (_Ursus arctos_) can be seen at http://images.summitpost.org/medium/472292.jpg.
A map of the affected area can be accessed at http://healthmap.org/r/3v12. - Mod.PMB]