A bat that a woman found on her shoe while gardening Monday proved Orange County’s 13th rabies case of the year.
Orange County only had 12 confirmed rabies cases in each of the last two years.
In Monday’s case, the Chapel Hill resident trapped the bat and called Animal Control to remove it for testing. A communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department planned to contact her to see if she faced any risk of exposure to the rabies virus.
The woman’s cat also may have been exposed and will receive a booster rabies vaccination as a precaution, reports said. If the cat had not already been vaccinated, contact with a rabid animal would have forced Animal Control officials to destroy the cat or quarantine it at the owner’s expense for six months.
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Animal Services director Bob Marotto said keep pet vaccinations up to date is the best weapon against rabies.
If you find a bat inside your house, animal control officials advise keeping it inside and moving people and pets outside until Animal Control officers arrive. Resident who see wildlife behaving strangely should call 911.