Orange County has received its ninth positive rabies test of 2017.
The confirmation from the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health originated when a Hurdle Mills resident found a deceased raccoon in her back yard along with her two dogs on Friday, December 22. Officials say that one of the resident’s dogs was up to date on rabies vaccinations and will only require a booster shot. The second dog did not have a rabies vaccination history, according to a release, but the owner is planning to quarantine the dog for four months.
State law requires unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets that come into contact with a rabid animal to be quarantined or euthanized.
A communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department is also in contact with the residents because they may have experienced possible secondary exposure when handling their dogs.
Raccoons and bats are the dominant host species for rabies in North Carolina but dogs, cats, groundhougs and skunks are also susceptible to contracting rabies.
Orange County recorded six positive rabies cases in 2016 and 10 in 2015. Both of those totals were down dramatically from a spike of 23 confirmed cases in 2014.
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