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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Public Health Response to a Rabid Kitten — Four States, 2007

Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

The public should be cautious in their interactions with animals, especially those that are unfamiliar, to avoid potential exposures to rabies and other infectious diseases. On July 24, 2007, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) was notified by the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) of a stray, rabid kitten that had been handled by players on several girls’ softball teams during a tournament in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Through rapid, open, interstate collaboration, public health investigators identified 27 persons as having exposures that warranted rabies vaccinations: one from South Carolina, 15 from Georgia, and 11 from North Carolina; Tennessee reported no exposed persons. Measures to reduce rabies exposures to humans by promotion of responsible pet ownership and routine vaccination of cats remain public health priorities.

Norovirus Outbreak in an Elementary School — District of Columbia, February 2007

PRESS CONTACT: Le Shon Seastrunk
Communications Director
Washington DC Department of Health
(202) 442–9194

To avoid becoming infected during outbreaks of norovirus, the most common cause of outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea in the United States, hands should be washed with soap and water thoroughly and often, ill persons should stay home for 24 to 72 hours after symptoms resolve, and shared objects and surfaces, including those not commonly cleaned such as computer keyboards and mice, should be thoroughly disinfected with dilute bleach. Norovirus, a highly infectious virus that is the most common cause of outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea in the United States, might be transmitted through contact with computer keyboards, computer mice, and other shared objects and surfaces in our environment. In a recent investigation of an outbreak of norovirus at a District of Columbia elementary school, public health officials for the first time detected norovirus on a computer keyboard and mouse. Based upon epidemiologic and laboratory evidence, investigators found that shared objects and surfaces that were not commonly cleaned, such as computer equipment, in addition to person-to-person contact might have contributed to the outbreak. Prevention and control of vomiting and diarrhea outbreaks includes washing hands frequently and thoroughly and excluding ill persons from others for 24–72 hours after symptoms resolve. Disinfection of the environment should be thorough and include surfaces and objects that are shared but not commonly cleaned, to reduce the likelihood of norovirus transmission.

Acute Pesticide Poisoning Associated with Pyraclostrobin Fungicide — Iowa, 2007

Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

Consideration should be given to the potential human adverse effects when weighing the risks and benefits of pesticide use. For instance, pesticide applicators should avoid aerial applications of pesticides when workers are in nearby fields and application methods must minimize off-target drift of pesticides. Acute illnesses resulting from exposure to pyraclostrobin (agricultural fungicide) and other pesticides can be prevented by following pesticide regulations and pesticide label requirements. During July, 33 people in Iowa became ill after exposure to pyraclostrobin which is a fairly new agricultural fungicide being used on cornfields to increase crop yield. In the Iowa exposure, both farm workers and others who spent time outdoors near treated fields were affected with upper respiratory tract irritation being the most common symptom.



  • Historical Document: January 03, 2008
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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