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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local New Hanover County Animal Services Confirms 2 Cases of Rabies

New Hanover County Animal Services Confirms 2 Cases of Rabies

NEW HANOVER CTY - The New Hanover County Animal Services Unit (ASU) was notified by the North Carolina State Lab this week that two raccoons captured by ASU tested positive for rabies. That brings the total for confirmed cases of rabies to 8 in 2012.
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, Animal Services was called to pick up a raccoon that had entered a place of business on Market Street near downtown Wilmington. The raccoon was captured and euthanized.
On Monday, May 7, after speaking with the N. C. State Veterinarian the raccoon was transported to the State Lab for testing. On Tuesday, May 8, the State Lab notified ASU that the raccoon had tested positive for rabies. The store owner was notified of the positive results and ASU will canvass the area to educate the public about rabies in wildlife and the importance of their pets having a current rabies vaccine.
On Monday, May 7, Animal Services was notified by an area veterinarian that an owned dog had fought with a raccoon on May 6, 2012. The owner handled the dog's collar after the altercation which resulted in potential exposure.  The dog was not current with its rabies vaccine so he was brought to Animal Services until the raccoon could be tested.
The raccoon was transported to the State Lab and the following day the State Lab notified ASU that the raccoon had tested positive for rabies.  The victim was notified of the positive results and the dog will remain at Animal Services for the six month quarantine.
Animals that have a current rabies vaccination at the time of exposure should be re-boostered within five days (2009 Centers for Disease Control guidelines) of exposure.  Recommendation is to euthanize exposed animals that are not current with their rabies vaccination.
There are three primary routes of transmission of the rabies virus, which is carried in the saliva of the infected animal: 1) the primary route of transmission is through a bite which breaks the skin of the victim, 2) salivary contact to an open, fresh wound, or, 3) salivary contact to the mucous membranes of a potential victim.
Please maintain a current rabies vaccination for your pet; this is the primary defense against the spread of this fatal disease. When dealing with primary rabies vectors (raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats) or unknown animals, such as wildlife, it is recommended that the animal be handled with protective gloves to prevent viral transmission.
Personal pets should not be handled without protection directly after being exposed to wildlife, due to the potential for carrying residual saliva from the infected animal. You should stay away from any animal that you have not been cleared to hold or pet, including owned dogs or cats, and especially wildlife. Feeding wildlife is ill advised. Prevention is better than reaction after the fact of exposure.
This is number 140 in overall cases.  This is the 7th and 8th positive case for 2012.