DURHAM COUNTY OFFICIALS CONFIRM FIFTH RABIES CASE OF 2013
Durham, N.C., March 23, 2013—Officials with the Durham County Sheriff’s Animal Services Division and Durham County Health Department are advising residents to ensure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date following this year’s fifth confirmed case of rabies in Durham County.
County officials Wednesday received confirmation from the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health that a fifth raccoon recently seized by sheriff’s deputies tested positive for rabies.
In this most recent case, the raccoon was discovered in the 100 block of Bahama Road. The other locations where deputies have located rabies-infected raccoons this year are the 5300 block of Cheek Road, 600 block of Chalice Street, 2300 block of Alabama Avenue, and 2300 block of Strawberry Lane. There were no confirmed cases of rabies in Durham County in 2012.
“It is important to know that close interactions with raccoons by humans, pets, and other wild animals may result in the spread of rabies,” Susan Thompson, RN, Durham County Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Coordinator, said. “Raccoons have adapted well to urban and suburban areas, so it is not uncommon to see raccoons around your home. If you see a raccoon in your yard or around your home, assume it is infected with rabies and stay away from it. Do not approach, handle, or touch any wild animals, but do call the Sheriff’s Animal Services Division immediately. Most importantly, make sure your pets’ vaccines are current.”
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, 6,153 cases of rabies were reported in 48 states and Puerto Rico in 2010. Ninety-two percent of those cases involved wild animals such as raccoons (36.5%), skunks (23.5%), bats (23.2%), foxes (7%), and all others accounting for 1.8 percent. Eight percent of rabies cases in 2010 were attributed to domestic species such as cats and dogs.
The Sheriff’s Animal Services Division, located at 3005 Glenn Rd in Durham, offers rabies vaccines every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. for a cost of $15. No appointment is necessary, but photo identification is required and payments must be made in cash. For more information please call 919-560-0630.
Residents are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 919-560-0900 if they encounter a possibly infected animal.