A rabid dog imported to the United States this month sparked a public health investigation in several states.
Health officials say a dog brought to the United States from Azerbaijan and ended up with a family in Chester County, Pa. Began to act strangely. He then tested positive for rabies and was euthanized. At least 12 people have been exposed to the animal.
The dog was one of 34 animals – 33 dogs and a cat – imported by an Azerbaijani animal rescue organization to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on June 10.
The animals were not in the main cabin of the aircraft or in the main terminal of the airport. Travelers passing through O’Hare are not considered to be at risk, but health officials are checking to see if other animals on the expedition are infected and are still looking for new owners of the animals.
Rabies no longer spreads regularly among dogs in the United States, but imported animals are considered a risk for further outbreaks.
Federal agencies are working with health officials from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and New York on the investigation.
This is the fourth rabid dog imported to the United States since 2015. The previous three were rescue dogs that arrived with rabies vaccination certificates which were later found to be fraudulent.
This week, the CDC announced that starting July 14, it will impose a one-year ban on dogs from more than 100 countries – including Azerbaijan – where rabies is still a problem. The ban is imposed due to an increase in the number of puppies refused entry because they were not old enough to be fully vaccinated.
Through MIKE STOBBE
Our journalism needs your support. Please register today at lehighvalleylive.com.