Orange County has 9th rabies case in 2014
Orange County Animal Services has received its ninth positive rabies test result of the year, this time involving a raccoon, according to the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.
The county recorded 12 positive cases last year and also in 2012.
The most recent case originated Saturday when an Efland resident found a dead raccoon outside of her barn. She called 911 and Animal Control officers removed the animal for testing.
The resident owns eight animals – three horses, three dogs and two cats – and their potential exposure to the raccoon could not be ruled out.
Seven of the eight animals were currently vaccinated against rabies and will receive a booster shot. Under North Carolina law, a dog, cat or ferret that has a current rabies vaccination must only receive a booster shot within five days of any suspected rabies exposure.
One of the cats was not currently vaccinated and will be euthanized.
A communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department has contacted the owner to assess her risk of rabies exposure. At issue is whether there is the possibility of secondary exposure from the resident handling her own animals.
“Prevention is the best measure for effective rabies control for pets and people alike,” said Bob Marotto, director of Animal Services. “Ensuring cats, dogs and ferrets are current on their rabies vaccinations is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner, since it can quite literally be the difference between life and death for their pet and protect the public from rabies.”
Raccoons are a host species to rabies in our area and the region. The other species that are most susceptible to getting rabies from raccoons are dogs and cats, groundhogs, skunks, and foxes.