Dog Euthanized After Encounter with Rabid Skunk in Orange County

Orange County has received its third positive rabies test result of the year from the State Laboratory of Public Health, County Animal Services announced Thursday.

This case originated Wednesday when Hillsborough residents witnessed their two dogs playing with a skunk inside the fenced yard, according to a release.

After removing the dogs, the residents called Animal Control to remove the skunk and have it tested for rabies.

Officials say one of the two dogs in the case had to be humanely euthanized over the exposure because it had not been vaccinated against rabies. The pet owners said in an e-mail that the dog was a young puppy who was not old enough to receive the vaccine. The other dog was up to date on its vaccines and received the required booster shot after the incident.

Any domestic cat, dog or ferret that may have been exposed to rabies that is not currently vaccinated must be either euthanized or quarantined for four months at the owner’s expense.

“Prevention is the best measure for effective rabies control for pets and people alike,” Orange County Animal Services director Bob Marotto said in a release. “Ensuring cats, dogs, and ferrets are current on their rabies vaccinations is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner, since it can quite literally be the difference between life and death for their pet.”

This is Orange County’ third confirmed case of rabies in 2016; there were 10 cases in 2015, which was down drastically from 23 in 2014.

Raccoon’s are the dominant host species of rabies in our area, but animals like skunks, foxes, dogs, cats and ferrets can contract rabies as part of the “spillover effect.”

Bats are also a host species for rabies in our region.

Orange County Animal Services will hold a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic the afternoon of Thursday, July 21, from three o’clock until five o’clock at the Animal Services Center at 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill. The cost of the rabies vaccine at these clinics is $10. You can see a full schedule of low-cost rabies vaccination clinics here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/dog-euthanized-after-encounter-with-rabid-skunk-in-orange-county

Chapel Hill Resident Being Monitored After Encounter with Rabid Raccoon

The second positive rabies test result of 2016 in Orange County has been confirmed by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Orange County Animal Services officials say this incident originated from a Chapel Hill resident finding an injured raccoon on the roadside. The resident picked the raccoon up in a towel, according to a release, and transported the animal to a veterinary office.

Animal Control was called and removed the raccoon to have it tested for rabies. No domesticated animals were involved in the case, according to officials.

A communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department is working to evaluate whether the resident is at risk of rabies. The release says the resident directly handled the towel the raccoon was in without gloves and possibly had open wounds on his hands at the time of handling.

Orange County reported a total of 10 positive cases last year, which was a drastic drop from the 23 cases in 2014.

http://chapelboro.com/news/health/chapel-hill-resident-monitored-for-rabies-after-encounter-with-rabid-raccoon

Hillsborough Dog Euthanized After Encounter with Rabid Skunk

Orange County has received another positive case of rabies, according to the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, marking 10 cases this year.

Orange County Animal Services reports this incident originated on Wednesday when Hillsborough residents noticed their dog had been sprayed by a skunk. One of the residents shot and killed the skunk before calling Animal Control.

The dog had to euthanized because the owners had not had their dog’s rabies vaccine updated.

North Carolina law requires animals that are not vaccinated and come into contact with a rabid animals be quarantined for six months at the owner’s expense or euthanized.

A dog or cat with a current rabies vaccination must only receive a booster shot within five days of any suspected rabies exposure.

This year’s number of cases is a major drop from 2014 when 23 positive cases were reported.

There were 12 positive cases in both 2012 and 2013.

The next low-cost rabies vaccination clinic will take place on Saturday, January 23, from nine o’clock in the morning until noon at the Animal Services Center on Ebuanks Road. Rabies vaccines will be $10.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/hillsborough-dog-euthanized-after-encounter-with-rabid-skunk

Orange County Reports 9th Rabies Case of 2015

Orange County Animal Services has received its ninth positive rabies test result of the year, according to the state laboratory of public health.

That number is drastically down from the 23 positive cases of rabies last year.

This incident involved a fox and originated last Wednesday when a Hillsborough resident witnessed a fox attacking his chicken coop. The resident shot the fox, according to officials, before calling animal services to have it tested for rabies.

Foxes are not the dominant host species of rabies in our area and contract it most often from contact with a raccoon.

Orange County Animal Services will offer another round of low-cost rabies vaccines early next year.

In 2012 and 2013, the county had 12 positive cases each year, before the spike last year.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/orange-county-reports-9th-rabies-case-of-2015

Rabid Bat Found on Hillsborough Playground

Orange County Animal Services reports a rabid bat was found at a Hillsborough elementary school last week.

Last Thursday, several children came across the carcass of the bat on the playground. Some reportedly kicked the dead bat around before teachers became aware of the situation. The bat was removed for testing.

A nurse from the Orange County Health Department is consulting with the families of the children involved to determine if they require post-exposure treatment.

The incident is the eighth reported case of rabies in Orange County so far this year, and the third to involve a bat. Last year, 23 cases were confirmed. The majority of those involved raccoons.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/rabid-bat-found-on-hillsborough-playground

Bat In Family Playroom Marks Orange County’s 6th Rabies Case

Orange County Animal Services reported the sixth case of rabies this year, following an incident in which a bat was found inside a house.

Hillsborough residents trapped a bat in an upstairs playroom of their home on Tuesday. Animal Services was called to remove it for testing.

Though no members of the household reported contact with the animal, officials say it’s possible they were inadvertently exposed if the bat was in the house overnight.

Bat bites can be undetectable, so people sleeping a room with a bat might not even know if they’ve been bitten. In this instance, no family members slept in the playroom and the door was reportedly left closed all night.

Nonetheless, a public health nurse is working with the family to determine if they should undergo post-exposure treatment.

In the United States, rabies in humans is very rare, but the few cases reported in recent years have been linked to bats. Officials say if you come in contact with a bat, it’s crucial to contain it without further contact and call Animal Services immediately. Outside of office hours, you can reach an Animal Control officer by calling 911.

You can learn more here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/bat-in-family-playroom-marks-orange-countys-6th-rabies-case

Orange County Reports 4th Rabies Case of 2015

Orange County is reporting its fourth rabies confirmation of 2015. This incident involved a raccoon, the primary carrier of rabies in our region.

This follows 23 confirmed cases in 2014, nearly double the twelve confirmed cases in both 2012 and 2013.

Orange County Animal Services Director, Bob Marotto, says there is no exact science to predicting how many cases a given area may see each year, but there are data points that reveal certain trends.

“The historical data that we have indicates that there is a cycling in these numbers,” he says. “We saw, in 2014, the beginning of an upswing.”

He says these trends typically run in one-to-three-year cycles.

Marotto adds that means residents need to be prepared in the future.

“There is rabies here,” he says. “It probably will never go away in our lifetime. Therefore, we need to be prepared individually, as households, as pet owners, and as a community.”

Staying current with the law is the best way to help protect you and your animals from rabies. North Carolina law states that all cats and dogs over four months must be current with their rabies vaccine at all times. And the Orange County ordinance calls for pets to wear a rabies vaccination tag.

If your vaccinated pet has an encounter with a rabid animal, they are required to receive a rabies booster shot within five days or they will be treated as an unvaccinated animal. In the case of an unvaccinated pet, the choice is between euthanasia and having the animal quarantined for up to 6 months.

Marotto says the best thing is to make sure your pet is vaccinated, and you can do that through Orange County Animal Service’s low-cost vaccination clinics.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/orange-county-reports-4th-rabies-case-of-2015

Orange County Confirms Second Rabies Case of 2015

Orange County is reporting its second rabies confirmation of 2015. This incident involved a raccoon, the primary carrier of rabies in our region.

This follows 23 confirmed cases in 2014, nearly double the twelve confirmed cases in both 2012 and 2013.

Orange County Animal Services Director, Bob Marotto, says there is no exact science to predicting how many cases a given area may see each year, but there are data points that reveal certain trends.

“The historical data that we have indicates that there is a cycling in these numbers,” he says. “We saw, in 2014, the beginning of an upswing.”

He says these trends typically run in one-to-three-year cycles.

Marotto adds that means residents need to be prepared in the future.

“There is rabies here,” he says. “It probably will never go away in our lifetime. Therefore, we need to be prepared individually, as households, as pet owners, and as a community.”

Staying current with the law is the best way to help protect you and your animals from rabies. North Carolina law states that all cats and dogs over four months must be current with their rabies vaccine at all times. And the Orange County ordinance calls for pets to wear a rabies vaccination tag.

If your vaccinated pet has an encounter with a rabid animal, they are required to receive a rabies booster shot within five days or they will be treated as an unvaccinated animal. In the case of an unvaccinated pet, the choice is between euthanasia and having the animal quarantined for up to 6 months.

Marotto says the best thing is to make sure your pet is vaccinated, and you can do that through Orange County Animal Service’s low-cost vaccination clinics.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/orange-county-confrims-second-rabies-case-2015

Rabid Bat Found In Chapel Hill Home

A bat in Chapel Hill marks Orange County’s first case of rabies this year.

The bat was found flying inside a home last Friday. Animal Services officers removed it for testing. The case was confirmed on Wednesday.

Officials say neither the family members nor the two dogs in the home came into contact with the bat, but they don’t know how long it was indoors.

Orange County has seen an uptick in rabies cases in the past 12 months. 23 cases were confirmed in 2014, nearly double the totals for the two previous years.

Residents are urged to report any contact with a bat, regardless of whether household pets or farm animals are involved. That’s because the few cases of human rabies in this country in recent years have been traced to bats.

If you discover a bat inside your house, be sure not to release it, but do remove yourself and any animals from the area. Always call animal control immediately if you find a bat in your home even if there is no evidence of a bite.

If an incident occurs after business hours, you can reach Orange County Animal Services by calling 911. You can find out more about rabies prevention here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/rabid-bat-found-chapel-hill-home

Orange County Rabies Cases on the Rise in 2014

Rabies cases throughout Orange County were up sharply for 2014 when compared to previous years.

Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto says the number of confirmed rabies cases nearly doubled.

“We had our final laboratory-confirmed rabies case on December 30, in Hillsborough,” he says. “That was the 23 laboratory-confirmed rabies case we had in 2014.”

There were 12 confirmed rabies cases in both 2012 and 2013.

Marotto says there is no exact science to predicting how many cases a given area may see each year, but there are data points that reveal certain trends.

“The historical data that we have indicates that there is a cycling in these numbers,” he says. “We saw, in 2014, the beginning of an upswing.”

He says these trends typically run in one-to-three-year cycles. Marotto also points out there were 23 confirmed cases, meaning the possibility exists the number of rabid animals was even higher – those cases just were not confirmed by the state lab.

Marotto says residents need to be prepared for increased cases in the future.

“There is rabies here,” he says. “It probably will never go away in our lifetime. Therefore, we need to be prepared individually, as households, as pet owners, and as a community.”

That includes taking steps to ensure the safety of our pets, and Marotto says monitoring your surroundings, as well as your pet’s environment, is vital.

“We’re all better off without having our animal outside unattended,” he says. “If we are with our animal, the likelihood that there is going to be an encounter is reduced because we can remove our pet and ourselves from the situation.”

Staying current with the law is also a way to help protect you and your animals from rabies. North Carolina law states that all cats and dogs over 4 months must be current with their rabies vaccine at all times. And the Orange County ordinance calls for pets to wear a rabies vaccination tag.

If your vaccinated pet has an encounter with a rabid animal, they are required to receive a rabies booster shot within five days, or they will be treated as an unvaccinated animal. In the case of an unvaccinated pet, the choice is between euthanasia and having the animal quarantined for up to 6 months.

Marotto says the best thing is to make sure your pet is vaccinated, and you can do that through Orange County Animal Service’s low-cost vaccination clinics.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/orange-county-rabies-cases-rise-2014