Durham County has had three confirmed rabies cases in the past month.
The cases occurred
▪ Feb. 10 in a skunk found in the 1000 block of Bill Poole Road in Rougemont
▪ Feb. 28 in a skunk found in the 9500 block of Rougemont Road in Bahama
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▪ Monday in a raccoon found in the 1400 block of Oak Forest Road in northern Durham
The animals were taken to the state laboratory where they tested positive for the virus. There was no human or animal exposure reported, officials said. As a precaution, homeowners involved in each case vaccinated their pets.
In 2016, Durham County had 10 confirmed cases of rabies, four raccoons, three foxes, one bat, one cat and one skunk, according to state statistics.
Orange County Animal Services reported its second case of rabies this year Feb 1 in Chapel Hill. The incident involved a raccoon. The county had 6 positive cases last year.
The rabies virus can be found in bats, foxes, raccoons, skunks, and groundhogs, among other animals. State law requires dog, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against the deadly disease at 4 months of age.
A vaccinated pet that comes in contact with a suspected rabid animal must be revaccinated, and an unvaccinated animal must be quarantid for up to six months at the owner’s expense or euthanized.
The Animal Services Division of the Durham County Sheriff's Office encourages residents to report the location of any animals exhibiting aggressive or odd behavior. Please call (919) 560-0900 if you suspect an animal is infected with the rabies virus.
Transmission of the rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal, typically through a bite or the entrance of the virus-containing saliva of an infected host through broken skin.
The first symptoms in animals may include lethargy, fever, vomiting, and anorexia. An animal can develop cerebral dysfunction, cranial nerve dysfunction, ataxia, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, aggression, or self-mutilation.
Animal Services at 3005 Glenn Road offers $10 one-year rabies vaccines (cash only) for dogs and cats from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.