A man who was trying to help an injured raccoon Wednesday may have to undergo preventive medical treatment after the animal turned out to have rabies.
The raccoon was the second confirmed case of rabies in the county this year. The county recorded 10 positive cases last year and 23 the year before.
The resident picked the raccoon up off the roadside in a towel and put it in the back of his truck to head toward a veterinary office, county officials said. Animal Control was called and removed the raccoon to have it tested for rabies, and the state laboratory confirmed it had rabies.
A nurse from the Orange County Health Department is working with the resident to evaluate his risk of rabies exposure. Of concern is the fact that he directly handled the towel without gloves and had possible open wounds on his hands at the time.
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In Durham County three people are undergoing a series of four shots spaced over two weeks after they were were bitten last week by a fox that turned out to have rabies.
Orange County has a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 11, at the Animal Services Center, 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.
The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10. Clinic dates for the rest of 2016 are posted at http://bit.ly/22B7Ejj