Date: Wed 7 Aug 2019
Source: Oakdale Leader [edited]

The East Side Mosquito Abatement District and Stanislaus County Public Health have jointly announced the 1st detection of invasive (non-native) _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes in the county. _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes have been detected previously elsewhere in California, but never before in Stanislaus County. _Aedes aegypti_ is capable of transmitting viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika that are not transmissible by the native Culex mosquitoes.

_Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes pose a threat in that returning travellers may contract these viruses elsewhere, and _Aedes aegypti_ in infested areas may pick them up and transmit to others. While the _Aedes aegypti_ mosquito has the potential to transmit deadly viruses, none of these viruses are currently known to be transmitted locally in California.

_Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes were recorded by the district, initially in a trap located in Modesto just north of the intersection of Lakewood Avenue and Scenic Drive on 25 Jul 2019 and in another trap nearby on 31 Jul 2019.

We found 2 male _Aedes aegypti_ in traps within 100 meters of each other, which is indicative of an established breeding population in the community. It is our responsibility to locate and control them," said J. Wakoli Wekesa, Ph.D., General Manager at East Side Mosquito Abatement District.

District staff will be conducting enhanced surveillance in the area including more trapping to evaluate the extent of the infestation. Mosquito control technicians will be doing door-to-door inspections searching for standing water sources where mosquitoes lay eggs and breed, which will encompass an area about a 1/4 mile [402 meters] radius from the index location. The technicians will be carrying out inspections and control activities in residents' yards as needed and educating residents on how to prevent mosquito breeding.

In contrast to the native amber-colored Culex mosquitoes, whose peak biting times are dawn and dusk, _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes are black and white, bite aggressively during the day, and feed almost exclusively on humans. Additionally, the larvae of _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes require much less water. Females lay their eggs just above the water line in small containers and vessels that hold water, such as dishes, potted plants, bird baths, ornamental fountains, tin cans, or discarded tires. The eggs can survive for up to 8 months after the water dries out.

The public plays a critical role in helping to control the spread of this mosquito population.  "This mosquito species breeds in small containers in and around homes. To get rid of it, people need to be aware of it, and then prevent its establishment by eliminating standing water in and around their homes," added Wekesa.

Prevent _Aedes aegypti_ development in your yard:
- Inspect yards for standing water sources and drain water that may have collected under potted plants, in bird baths, discarded tires, and any other items that could collect water.
- Check your rain gutters and lawn drains to make sure they aren't holding water and debris.
- Check and clean any new potted plant containers that you may bring home from areas that may have _Aedes aegypti_. The eggs can remain viable under dry conditions for months.

Prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply repellents containing EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older.
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outside. - Be sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

Residents experiencing mosquito bites should report them immediately to the Mosquito Abatement Districts in Stanislaus County. If you are sick with fever, headache, and joint or muscle pain after returning from an area where dengue, chikungunya, or Zika [viruses] occur, contact your doctor and stay indoors as much as possible to avoid mosquito bites and help prevent possible spread of the virus.
[The areas in California where _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes have been found continues to expand. So far, there has been no local transmission of dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever or Zika viruses, probably because the populations of this mosquito have not been sufficiently numerous to support ongoing transmission. Local residents in Stanislaus country should heed the advice to eliminate breeding sites of this mosquito. - ProMED Mod.TY]

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Date: Fri 9 Aug 2019 8:22 PM MDT
Source: Loveland Reporter Herald [edited]

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment reported Friday [9 Aug 2019] that tularemia, also known as "rabbit fever," has been found in a rabbit in northern Larimer County.

Tularemia-causing bacteria from the droppings or urine of sick animals, usually rabbits, can contaminate soil and spread the disease, according to a news release from the health department.

A recent die-off of rabbits suggested a possible tularemia outbreak among the animals in that area, the agency said.

"Because tularemia is naturally occurring in Larimer County, precautions should always be taken to prevent infection, public health director Tom Gonzales said in the release. "It is important to keep children and pets away from wild animals."

In recent years, most human tularemia cases along the Front Range have been attributed to activities involving soil and vegetation, the health department said. The county has seen 18 human cases since 2009; 35 animals have tested positive for the disease since 2009.

Tularemia can be transmitted to people who handle infected animals; from the bite of infected insects (most commonly ticks and deer flies); by exposure to contaminated food, water, or soil; by eating, drinking, putting hands to eyes, nose, or mouth before washing after outdoor activities; by direct contact with breaks in the skin; or by inhaling particles carrying the bacteria (through mowing or blowing vegetation and excavating soil).

Typical signs of infection in humans may include fever, chills, headache, swollen and painful lymph glands and fatigue.

Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics, and the health department recommended anyone with any of these early signs seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The agency also advises people wear gloves when gardening; wear dust masks when mowing or blowing vegetation or moving soil; wear insect repellent to deter biting insects; wear shoes on grassy lawns; and never touch dead animals with bare hands.
[Tularemia is largely confined to the Northern Hemisphere and is not normally found in the tropics or the Southern Hemisphere.

_Francisella tularensis_ subsp. _tularensis_(Type A) is associated with lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) in North America. It is transmitted primarily by ticks and biting flies, is highly virulent for humans and domestic rabbits.

In addition to vector transmission, tularemia may be spread contact with infected animals or environmental fomites by inhalation, or by ingestion of the poorly cooked flesh of infected animals or contaminated water. - ProMED Mod.PMB]

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<>. Colorado county map:
Date: Tue 6 Aug 2019
Source: CBS Austin [edited]

Authorities say a fox that got into a northwest Travis County home on Saturday [3 Aug 2019] and attacked a resident has tested positive for rabies. City of Austin officials say it happened at a home on Pace Bend Road. The resident was bitten on the foot by the fox, and a family member had to kill the fox to stop the attack.

The fox was taken and submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services for testing. A positive rabies result was confirmed, and now public health officials are canvassing the area to determine if any other people or pets may have had contact with the fox.

If someone is bitten by a wild animal, Animal Protection should be called immediately. The victim should also contact a physician immediately.

Animal Services offers the following tips to protect pets and family from exposure to wild animals:

- Vaccinate your dogs and cats as well as livestock.
- Restrain your pets. Do not allow them to roam freely in public.
- Avoid contact with wild animals and unknown dogs and cats.
- If your pet is bitten, scratched or in a fight with any animal, report it to the authorities.
- Any contact with these high-risk wild animals or any sign of sick or dead wildlife should also be reported.
[Vaccination of your pets is an extremely important way to protect your pet, and to protect yourself. This helps to build a barrier between you and the virus.

Rabies virus is deadly. There are fewer than a handful of humans who have survived rabies, and their lives are NOT the same as they were before. These people have permanent effects to their neurological systems. So please protect yourself and your pets.

Vaccinate your pets. It is effective and is so much cheaper than the heartache of euthanizing your pet or risking death to yourself or a loved one.

While post-exposure prophylaxis is available if you are bitten, it must be administered within a certain time following the bite. Furthermore, for those in the USA, this is a very expensive (however lifesaving) procedure. For those unfamiliar, this treatment can cost many thousands of dollars -- I have heard reports ranging from USD 30,000 to 50,000 and even as much as USD 100 000.

Again, rabies is a deadly virus. Please vaccinate your pets and exercise extreme caution around animals you are unfamiliar with. - ProMED Mod.TG]

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Date: Fri 2 Aug 2019
Source: WEAR-TV [edited]

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH) has issued a rabies alert after 3 people were reportedly bitten by raccoons. The report says FDOH-Escambia health educator consultant, Kimberly Pace, declined to specify the area in which the individuals were bitten. However, she said, "at this time FDOH-Escambia wants to ensure all county residents are taking the precautions."

The FDOH has provided the following tips to protect your family from rabies:

- Teach your children not to go near wild and stray animals, and never keep them as pets.
- Vaccinate your dog, cat, ferret, or horse to protect against rabies. Keep vaccinations up-to-date.
- Do not feed your pets outside. The food may attract wild animals.
- Make sure your garbage is securely covered. Open garbage attracts wild and stray animals.
- Spay or neuter your pet to reduce its tendency to roam or fight.
- Do not let your pets roam freely or allow them to interact with wild or stray animals. Keep them in a fenced yard or on a leash.
- Call Escambia County Animal Control to remove stray animals from your neighborhood.
- 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.
- If your pet is bitten by another animal, immediately seek veterinary assistance for your animal and contact Escambia County Animal Control.
- If you are bitten by a wild animal, or by any animal acting strangely, seek medical care as soon as possible so a physician can evaluate your risk of rabies infection and administer the rabies [post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)] vaccine if appropriate.  [Byline: Ly'Nita Carter]
Date: Wed 7 Aug 2019
Source: WLTX [edited]

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported 3 people in the Midlands have been exposed to rabies.

Two people in the Newberry County town of Prosperity were referred to their healthcare providers after being potentially exposed to rabies by their pet cat having tested positive for the disease [rabies]. The potential exposures occurred 1 Aug 2019 when the victims were bitten by the cat in Prosperity. The cat was described as a large, grey domestic short-haired tabby. The cat was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing 2 Aug 2019 and was confirmed to have rabies 5 Aug 2019. One person in the town of Lexington was referred to their healthcare provider after coming into contact with a fox testing positive for rabies. The potential exposure occurred 2 Aug 2019 when the victim was attacked by a fox on their property in the town of Lexington. The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing 2 Aug 2019 and was confirmed to have rabies 5 Aug 2019.

"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 DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator," said Vaughan.

It is also important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from this fatal disease.

If you have reason to believe you, family members, or pets have come into contact with an animal potentially having rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Columbia office.

Be sure to immediately wash any part of your body having come into contact with saliva or neural tissue with plenty of soap and water and seek medical attention.

To report a bite or exposure on holidays and/or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number.
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