Fifth rabid raccoon reported so far this year

Mar. 23, 2013 @ 01:14 PM

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a fifth case of rabies this year. None of the rabid animals – all raccoons – attacked anyone.

This fifth case was found in the 100 block of Bahama Road. Sheriff’s Dep. Paul Sherwin said Saturday that a veterinarian came across a raccoon that looked sick and called the Durham County Sheriff’s Animal Services Division.

The circumstances of each of the other rabies cases this year have been unique, he said, but all were raccoons that either looked ill or already were dead. Residents called to alert animal services that raccoons were in their yards.

“Typically, wild animals are skittish around people,” Sherwin said. “These stay put, are unsteady on their feet and have the typical [mouth] foaming. They have an unhealthy appearance; unhealthy demeanor,” he said.

Other rabid raccoons in the county this year were found in the 5300 block of Cheek Road, 600 block of Chalice Street, 2300 block of Alabama Avenue and 2300 block of Strawberry Lane. There were no confirmed rabies cases last year.

The Durham County Department of Public Health recommends that if you see a raccoon around your house, to assume it has rabies and stay away from it. Animal Services and Durham County Health Department officials are advising residents to make sure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are updated. The Sheriff’s Animal Services Division offers rabies vaccinations from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 3005 Glenn Rd. in Durham. Vaccinations cost $15 cash. No appointments needed, but photo identification is required.

For information on vaccinations, call 919-560-0630. To report a possibly rabid animal, call the Durham County Sheriff’s Office at 919-560-0900.