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DEM and HEALTH Announce Test Confirms Death Of Calf Is Not A Public Health Risk

PROVIDENCE –The results of an animal autopsy performed on the brown calf that was housed in the pen adjacent to Gray's Ice Cream in Tiverton, and which was euthanized on July 26th, showed no evidence that the calf posed any public health threat. The testing, which was conducted at the University of Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Lab, determined that this calf's condition was due to complications from parasites that do not cause illness in humans. Therefore, there is no risk to the public who may have had contact with this animal.

On July 26th the owner of the brown calf reported to the Rhode Island State Veterinarian that the calf was in poor health. This report came only a few days after a black-and-white calf housed in the same pen had died while under quarantine for observation for rabies. Unfortunately, the cause of the black and white calf's death was not able to be determined, but since he died while under quarantine for rabies observation, public health authorities are acting out of an abundance of caution, in treating the death as though he was infected with rabies and making appropriate recommendations regarding treatment of those people who were considered to be potentially exposed after being screened. The Rhode Island Department of Health is still recommending that anyone who has begun rabies treatment as a result of being assessed for exposure, should complete the treatment.

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