Chapel Hill News

Orange County gets 6th confirmed rabies case of year

County’s 6th rabies case shows up in Carrboro

A rabid raccoon was removed March 22 from the driveway of a Carrboro home – the sixth rabid animal case so far this year in Orange County.

The county reported 12 rabies cases last year and in 2012.

In the latest case, Carrboro residents spotted the raccoon in their driveway and called Animal Control to come get it.

Although the family dog came into contact with the raccoon, the dog was vaccinated against rabies, so it only needed a booster shot. North Carolina law requires counties to destroy unvaccinated pets or quarantine them for six months if they have contact with a rabid animal.

The residents touched their dog briefly, but then washed their hands. They were contacted by a communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department about the potential risks of secondary exposure.

Raccoons, dogs and cats are not the only animals that can carry rabies. Other species susceptible to the disease include bats, groundhogs, skunks and foxes.

Anyone who sees an animal acting strangely should stay away and call 911 to have an Animal Control officer come check it out, county officials said.