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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/

OC Animal Services Reports Rabid Skunk In Rougemont

Orange County Animal Services on Monday confirmed the county’s 22nd case of rabies this year.

The case involved a skunk in Rougemont. A resident who found the skunk in a pen with two dogs killed the skunk and had it removed for testing. One of the dogs showed signs of having fought with the skunk. Luckily, both dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations.

They’ll receive booster shots. The owners will meet with a community health nurse to discuss the possibility of second-hand exposure.

All dogs, cats and ferrets are required to have current rabies vaccinations. Orange County Animal Services will offer low-cost clinics in January 2015. For the full schedule, click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/oc-animal-services-reports-rabid-skunk-rougemont/

Rabid Skunk Is Orange County’s 21st Case This Year

A skunk in Hurdle Mills tested positive for rabies this week, bringing the county’s total to 21 cases this year.

Animal Services officials say a homeowner north of Hillsborough found a dead skunk in a dog pen on Wednesday and had it removed for testing.

The test came back positive, but luckily the two dogs that may have had contact with the animal were up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Both dogs received boosters as mandated by state law.

Rabies cases have spiked in 2014, with nearly two dozen on record. By contrast, the county reported only 12 cases each in 2013 and 2012. Orange County Animal Services will host low-cost rabies vaccination clinics starting in January 2015.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/rabid-skunk-orange-countys-21st-case-year/

Rabid Skunk Is Orange County’s 20th Case This Year

A skunk in Efland tested positive for rabies this week, bringing Orange County’s total to 20 cases this year.

A woman found the skunk alive and unharmed in her dog’s pen when she went to feed the dog on Tuesday. Animal control officials removed the skunk for testing.

The dog in the pen was not vaccinated, meaning the owners must now choose to either euthanize it, or pay to keep it quarantine for six months.

Orange County Animal Services is offering two low-cost rabies vaccination clinics in September:

-Thursday, September 25, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Public Market House, 144 East Margaret Lane in Hillsborough.

– Saturday, September 27, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center, 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.

The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10. Microchips will be offered at the Saturday clinic for an additional $25. Clinic dates for the rest of 2014 are posted at http://orangecountync.gov/AnimalServices/rabies.asp

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/rabid-skunk-orange-countys-20th-case-year/

Another Rabies Case In OC, 19th This Year

A bat tested positive for rabies last Sunday after two dogs found it in a family’s home.

According to Orange County Animal Services, this the 19th positive rabies in the county so far this year – up significantly from 2012 and 2013.

Animal Services director Bob Marotto visited WCHL last week and spoke on the air with Aaron Keck.

Fortunately in this case, there was no direct contact between the dogs and the bat, and both dogs were already vaccinated against rabies. Per state law, they’ll receive a booster shot as a precaution.

Raccoons are the major source of rabies in North Carolina, but bats can actually pose a greater risk to humans because their bites can go undetected.

Click here for dates, times, and information on upcoming rabies clinics.

If you find you may have come into contact with a bat, contain the bat if possible and call Animal Services immediately at 919-942-PETS.

http://chapelboro.com/news/health/another-rabies-case-oc-19th-year/

18th Confirmed Rabies Case in Orange County

In addition to the two cases released yesterday, Orange County Animal Services have received another positive rabies test result of the year, bringing up the number of confirmed rabies incidents in the county to 18.

The Director of Orange County Animal Services, Bob Marotto, told WHCL what happened in the latest confirmed case that took place on Tuesday, August 5:

“It involved a fox that was impounded after being killed by some residents in southern part of the county in Carrboro,” says Marotto. “The residents killed the fox because the fox had latched onto the dog in their yard, and would not release the dog. To free the dog from the fox, the folks used some implements to separate the fox and the dog resulting in the death of the fox.”

The Orange County Health Department contacted the dog’s owners to check for risk of human exposure to rabies. The dog involved in this case was currently vaccinated against rabies and will receive a booster shot in accordance with rabies laws in North Carolina.

“I think what I would emphasize is, not only the importance of pet vaccination, and then if there is an exposure, boostering,” says Marotto, “but I think what we want to remind people is to have their pets supervised at all times when they’re outside in order to try and avert situations in which their pets may either pursue a wild animal, or a wild animal may pursue their pets.”

On Thursday, August 14, from 3 – 5 p.m., the Orange County Animal Services Center will host another Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic. The center is located at 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill. There will be a $10 cost for rabies vaccinations, and microchips will be available for $25.

For more information, please call Orange County Animal Services at 919-942-7387 or click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/18th-confirmed-rabies-case-orange-county/

Two More Rabies Cases Confirmed for Orange County

The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health reports that Orange County Animal Services has encountered two more positive tests for rabies, bringing the number of positive tests for this year to 17.

The last two reported cases involved a fox and a bat.

Director of Orange County Animal Services, Bob Marotto, described the both incidents, beginning with the first incident that took place on Saturday, August 2, when a Carrboro resident’s pet duck was being attacked by a grey fox.

“The fox attacked the duck. The owners separated the fox from the duck with a garden implement,” explains Marotoo. “After chasing the fox away, we have surmised that the fox was hit and killed by a car.”

A different resident contacted Animal Services the following day, which is where Animal Services believe it was the same fox.

On Sunday, August 3, a Carrboro resident found a dying bat on the ground near her home as she was taking her dog for a walk.

“The dog found a bat on the ground and approached the bat; may have nosed the bat,” says Marotto. “The bat was still alive, and the bat apparently showed its fangs to the dog as the dog was near the bat. That bat tested positive [for rabies], as did the fox.”

Marotto encourages that residents of Carrboro and the rest of Orange County keep their pets’ rabies vaccines as up-to-date as possible.

“We often stress the importance of vaccinating our pets as we should, and keeping them currently vaccinated,” says Marotto. “Also, be sure that if there is an exposure to rabies that our pets receive the booster shot required by law.”

On Thursday, August 14, from 3 – 5 p.m., the Orange County Animal Services Center will host another Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic. The center is located at 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill. There will be a $10 cost for rabies vaccinations, and microchips will be available for $25.

For more information, please call Orange County Animal Services at 919-942-7387 or click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/two-rabies-cases-confirmed-orange-county/