Thursday, March 14, 2013

Maryland Rabies

I am trying to find any additional information on the person who died from rabies in Maryland as reported by the Baltimore Sun yesterday. No new information available yet. But I thought this article was helpful to understand the prevalence and scope of this disease.
From the online newspaper
A Maryland resident has died from rabies, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
It’s the first human death from the disease since 1976, when a Cecil County woman died. Until Odette Scrivanich died in June of that year, it had been 30 years since the last rabies death in the Mason Dixon State.
Kim Mitchell, chief of rabies and vector borne diseases, would not divulge any information on this latest victim.
“We are not even allowed to divulge the gender,” she said Tuesday.
Mitchell could say the victim died within the past month, but health officials have yet to determine how he or she contracted the deadly neurological disease.
“It’s still a mystery at this point,” she said, adding friends and family of the person are being questioned.
Mitchell said as many as 400 animals test positive for rabies in any given year so infection is possible all over Maryland.
“There are rabid animals everywhere,” she said.
In April 2012, a rabid feral kitten came in contact with eight people in Port Deposit. All had to go through a series of post-exposure vaccinations.
In 2012, there were 11 confirmed cases of rabies in animals, including seven raccoons, three cats and a skunk. Statewide, raccoons were the predominant species infected with 170 of the state’s 276 confirmed cases.
To read the entire article:

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