Date: July 17, 2012
Source: Daily Mail
Abstract: A crazed beaver attacked two girls as they swam in a lake at a popular beauty spot leaving them with serious injuries.
Eight-year-old Annabella Radnovich and her 11-year-old sister, Alyssa, were playing with their cousins at Lake Anna in Virginia's Spotsylvania County when the 65 pound animal bit and scratched their legs.
The sisters were rushed to Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center after the attack just before noon on Sunday.
She told q13FOX.com: 'She had felt something touch her leg and she thought it was one of her cousins messing with her.
'And she stopped and looked and pushed it off of her and started running out of the water.'
Annabella also thought it was someone in her family fooling around until she felt the animal's claws digging into her legs.
Describing the terrifying experience she said: 'It started swimming around me, and then I tried to get out again and it bit my leg.'
Annabella told how as soon as everyone realised what was going on they all rushed out of the water.
The girls' grandmother treated their wounds at the scene until an ambulance arrived.
Doctors were yesterday contemplating operating on Annabella who had suffered the more serious injuries. Alyssa required stitches.
She added: 'The pain was the most pain I've ever been through.
'When I was in the ambulance truck, they said they've heard of a skunk bite, but not a beaver. Ever.'
Her mother added: 'Because it went through the muscle tissue, they didn't want to do surgery.
'The main concern is the infection and they're testing the beaver for rabies now.'
The girls are not believed to have been given injections against the disease at this stage.
Wendy, who said she would no longer be bringing her children to the lake to swim, told how the girls' uncle returned to the scene and shot the beaver.
According to Marine Biologists, beaver attacks on humans are extremely
rare and when they do happen, it is usually because the animal is rabid (Daily Mail, 2012).
Title: Man Develops Bubonic Plague From Stray Cat Bite And Narrowly Escapes
Death... But Will Have Fingers And Toes Amputated
Date: July 17, 2012
Source: Daily Mail
Abstract: A 59-year-old man is out of hospital after spending a month in intensive care due to infection from the bubonic plague.
Paul Gaylord, 59, developed the symptoms after he was bitten by a stray cat his family had adopted.
The cat, named Charlie, had caught a rodent which was stuck in his throat. It is thought that the rat was infected by fleas, which carry the disease.
Initially, Mr Gaylord thought he had the flu when he developed a fever after the bite.
After antibiotics failed to make him feel better, he was rushed to hospital when his lymph nodes swelled to the size of lemons.
He still faces surgery to remove his withered, blackened fingers and toes - one of the symptoms of the terrible disease that gave it the name, the 'black death'.
Although the welder will not be able to work again, he is lucky to be alive.
'They tell me I'm doing really good considering,' he told OregonLive.com from his hospital bed at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon.
'I do feel lucky. I'm going to have a long row to hoe but at least I have one.'
Mr Gaylord's mother, Almeda, 81, explained how close her son came to death.
His heart stopped. His lung collapsed. They told us he wasn't going to make it,' she said.
Mr Gaylord spent nearly a month on life support and it was so touch-and-go at one point that his son, Jake, flew in from Austin, Texas, to say goodbye.
His wife organised a baptism as Mr Gaylord has always regretted not being christened as a child.
'I was delirious,' said Mr Gaylor of his memory of the month he spent in intensive care.
'Things didn't seem real. The clock ran backwards.'
Now he's recovered, Mr Gaylord will have to learn how to walk again and use his fingerless hands.
'It will be a long rehab,' he said. 'I have to learn to do everything again.'
Although the plague is generally connected to the Middle Ages, Mr Gaylor is the 17th person sickened by the disease in Oregon since 1934.
It causes an infection that kills cells, causing gangrene which often results in amputation, if not death (Daily Mail, 2012).
Title: Md. Woman Exposed To Rabies Following Deer's Kick
Date: July 17, 2012
Source: WTOP News
Abstract: It's strange enough to be kicked in the face by a deer, let alone one with rabies.
But that's what happened to one western Maryland woman this month.
Theresa Stevens, of LaVale, tells the Cumberland Times-News that she encountered the deer on July 6 after letting her dog out of the house.
Stevens says the deer rose on its hind legs, knocking her in the cheek with one hoof and on the shoulder with the other, before she pushed it away.
Stevens grabbed her dog, and awakened her husband, Larry, telling him she had been attacked by a deer.
When the Stevenses went back outside, the doe was lying beneath their Toyota Corolla.
She placed the animal's head in a bucket of water _ which she believes led her to be exposed to rabies.
The deer was euthanized. A laboratory test confirmed rabies.
Stevens, who says she developed muscle pain and a headache, will be taking shots into next month (WTOP News, 2012).
Title: Crazed Otter Bites Swimmer 25 Times In Minnesota Lake
Date: July 18, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Minnesota swimmer had to get rabies shots after she was bitten 25 times by an otter while training for a triathlon in a lake near Duluth.
The Duluth News Tribune reports 33-year-old Leah Prudhomme had just finished swimming around an island and was heading back to shore when she felt fangs pierce her leg.
She struggled to get away as the mystery attacker bit her 25 times, leaving puncture wounds as deep as two inches on her legs, arms and back.
“It just kept coming after me,” Prudhomme told The Duluth News Tribune. “You never knew where it was going to bite next.”
Prudhomme told the paper she was shocked when the animal's head popped out the water and she realized she was being attacked by an otter.
“I couldn’t believe Duluth had an otter,” she said.
Prudhomme was rescued by a friend, who saw her struggling and picked her up in a boat. She was taken to a hospital, where she received multiple rounds of rabies shots.
Experts say they are baffled as to why the otter was so aggressive, saying it must have somehow felt threatened or worse, have rabies.
“I’ve never seen or heard of it before,” said Mike Scott, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Duluth told The Duluth News Tribune. “We’ve got otters everywhere ... lakes, streams. Most times, (swimmers) wouldn’t even know it. Otters usually stay away.”
Prudhomme says she is glad she decided to wear her wet suit, which was shredded during the attack, because she believes her injuries would have been much worse without it.
She says she is still planning on doing the Duluth Triathlon, which is being held next month on the same lake.
“I’m scared, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to let get the best of you,” she said. “It’s not like I’ll be bitten by another otter” (Fox News, 2012).
Title: 9-Year-Old Dies From Brain Infection Caused By Amoeba
Date: August 9, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Health officials have closed Lily Lake to swimmers until further notice while the Minnesota Department of Health investigates the death of a boy who appears to have died from a rare form of meningitis caused by an amoeba found in warm freshwater, myfoxtwincities.com reported.
Officials suspect 9-year-old Jack Ariola was killed by primary amebic meningoencephalitis, also known as PAM; however, they are still waiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was taken off life support Tuesday.
The boy's father, Jim Ariola of Wyoming, Minn., told the St. Paul Pioneer Press his son swam in Lily Lake early to mid-last week, where he frequently swam with his sisters. Ariola says his son was traveling with his mother in Grand Marais when the infection took hold Friday.
"He didn't -- he didn't know who I was," Jim Ariola said.
Ariola said his son loved hockey and wrestling. He was getting ready to start fourth grade in Stillwater this fall, and was set to start a hockey clinic on Wednesday night.
PAM is caused by an organism known as Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic amoeba that is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil across the world. It infects humans by entering through the nose -- usually while swimming or diving, and it causes a severe brain infection that is nearly always fatal.
Officials stress that infections are very rare. In fact, the last known case of PAM in Minnesota was reported in August 2010 after a 7-year-old girl named Annie Bahneman died from the same brain infection after swimming in Lily Lake.
"The risk of infection from Naegleria in Minnesota is very low," said Richard Danila, assistant state epidemiologist, in a statement. "We do not want to discourage people from swimming. Rather, simply avoid swimming, diving or other activities in obviously stagnant water while temperatures are high and water levels are low."
PAM infections, while extremely rare, usually occur in warm, southern
states. Between 2001 and 2011, 40 cases were reported in the United States (Fox News, 2012).
Title: 'It Bit Me So Bad,' Says Virginia Woman, 83, Mauled By Rabid Beaver
Date: September 6, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: An 83-year-old Virginia woman was mauled by a rabid beaver Wednesday as she left a lake where she had been taking a routine swim, The Washington Post reported.
"It bit me so bad," Lillian Peterson told the paper during a call from her hospital bed. "I started kicking it with my other leg, but I wasn't sure what to do."
The 35-pound beaver made its attack as Peterson was exiting Lake Barcroft in Fairfax County, the paper reported. There was a struggle. Peterson tried to beat the animal with a walking stick, but the animal was relentless. It left puncture wounds over much of Peterson’s body and nearly bit off her thumb. The entire ordeal, the paper reported, lasted about 20 minutes.
A witness to the attack called 911 and tried to help the woman. But the beaver made its way to his boat and the man beat the beaver back with a paddle, the report said. The beaver appeared to be dead, but reportedly made more attempts at rescuers until it was eventually euthanized.
"There's no way I will swim in that place again," she told The
Post (Fox News, 2012).
Title: Rabid Beaver Chases Children In Fairfax; 2nd Attack In A Week
Date: September 12, 2012
Source: Washington Times
Abstract: A rabid beaver leaped from a pond and chased a group of children who had gathered for a fishing competition in a Fairfax County park on Saturday — the second beaver attack in the county in a week.
According to a staff member on duty during the competition, part of the park’s Safari Saturday program, the beaver swam over to a dock where about four or five children were standing with two parents.
“There was a 4-year-old girl a little bit on one side by herself,” Ms. Pedersen said. “The beaver got up on the dock, staggering, and jumped toward the young girl.”
The beaver didn’t touch the girl, and the parents grabbed the children and ran, she said.
Ms. Pedersen said the beaver wandered into the nearby woods during the 15 minutes or so it took for an animal control officer to arrive.
When people went back down to the pond, the beaver reappeared, Ms. Pedersen said.
“I think it was more frightening than dangerous,” Ms. Pedersen said. “The kids were startled. The young lady in particular was probably the most startled, and after she and her parents reconciled, they left there saying, ‘Boy, have we got a fishing tale to tell.’ ”
An animal control officer cleared the area and shot the beaver.
The park is nestled in a neighborhood off Old Keene Mill Road. There are four marked trails at the park, as well as the pond, a playground and a picnic area that Johanna Tschebull said is popular with fellow Fairfax County mothers and children.
“I’m not worried. I heard it’s quite unusual,” Ms. Tschebull said Wednesday afternoon as her 3-year-old daughter scampered up the path that rings the pond.
“I know other moms are concerned, but I’m not going to stay away from the pond unless they tell us to. Just use common sense.”
The pond where the beaver emerged is small, with a heavy coat of algae covering its surface and scattered tree branches poking through the water.
Besides the low water level, the pond didn’t appear different to Laurie Hochman and her husband Bob, two West Springfield residents out walking their 16-year-old poodle Zachary on Wednesday, though the idea of a rabid beaver is “really creepy,” she said.
“That is very strange,” Ms. Hochman said. “It makes me wonder if there are other animals or rodents running around [with rabies].”
Last week, an 83-year-old woman was bitten by another beaver while swimming in Lake Barcroft, about 11 miles away. That animal also tested positive for rabies.
Farther away, two girls — ages 11 and 8 — were bitten by a rabid beaver while swimming in Spotsylvania County’s Lake Anna in July. The beaver was killed by someone at the lake.
County spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said that prior to this month, it had been 12 years since the last report of beaver bites in Fairfax County.
Ms. Pedersen said animal control officials have not seen an increase in the number of confirmed rabies cases, which usually measure between 50 and 60 each year.
“It’s too early to make an assessment of what exactly is going on,” Ms. Pedersen said. “It’s very unusual, but the real meaning is still to be uncovered.”
Lee Walker, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said unlike a fox or a raccoon that can be easily spotted on land, a rabid beaver is harder to avoid.
“A beaver pops up out of its hut and — boom — you’re in the water, he’s there sitting and staring eyeball to eyeball with you, and you never really had a chance,” Mr. Walker said (Washington Times, 2012).