3rd rabies case reported in Orange County

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 04:53 PM

A raccoon in Carrboro is the third animal to test positive for rabies in Orange County.

Orange County Animal Services received the positive test results from the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health following the testing of a raccoon that was seen Sunday outside a Carrboro woman’s home.
The woman contacted Animal Control after seeing the raccoon acting strangely. No other animals or humans came in direct contact with the raccoon.
The rabies testing was conducted after the woman expressed concern about the raccoon’s saliva being on any outdoor objects that people at the home would handle.
Orange County Health Director Colleen Bridger asks the public not to hesitate to contact Animal Control if they encounter an animal that may be infected.
“You should report any suspicious animal behavior to Animal Control,” she said. “Most importantly, if you have animals, you absolutely must make sure their rabies vaccination is up to date.
“There are people who let their pet’s vaccination lapse and you’re looking at a six month quarantine or euthanasia. Neither one is what we want for our pets,” Bridger said.
A communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department will contact the resident to assess the risk of rabies exposure then determine if post-exposure prophylaxis will be needed.
Bridger advised the public not to touch an animal suspected of having rabies.
The raccoon is the dominant host species for rabies in North Carolina. Other species that are most susceptible in the state are dogs, cats, groundhogs, skunks and foxes.
The county will host a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 20 at the Farmer’s Market in Hillsborough. The vaccinations will be $10. Only cash will be accepted.
For information, call Orange County Animal Services at (919) 942-7387.