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15th Case of Rabies Reported in Orange County for 2014

Orange County Animal Services is reporting the 15th positive test for rabies in the county so far this year.

The latest reported incident comes from Hillsborough, where a resident noticed that her two dogs were hovering over a certain spot in her back yard this past Monday.

The subject of their interest turned out to be a bat. She brought the dogs inside the house and called Animal Services to have the bat removed.

The bat was tested at North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, and came up positive for rabies.

“It’s the second rabies case we’ve had this year that does involve a bat,” says Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto. “And bats are going to be more active in the summer months. And we know from our past experience, not only here in Orange County, but in North Carolina at large that the number of potential rabies exposures involving bats climbs during the summer months.”

Eleven of the other reported rabies cases in Orange County this year involved raccoons, and the remaining two were a fox and a skunk, according to Marotto.

Reported cases of rabies have gone up since last year, when the total number was 12 – the same as the year before.

Fortunately, the two Hillsborough dogs that came in possible contact the most recently reported rabid bat were up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, and only required booster shots within five days of the incident.

Otherwise, the risk of rabies exposure would have made it legally mandatory for the dogs to either be destroyed or quarantined for six months.

“For people, we want people to be mindful that bats may be beneficial to our environment as insectivores, and for other reasons,” says Marotto. “But they are rabies carriers, and if we have contact with a bat, we want to be absolutely positive to get medical care.”

Marotto adds that people who come into contact with a bat may not even realize at first if they’ve been bitten, because bat bites are so tiny.

If you have any questions or suspected rabies cases to report, you can call Orange County Animal Services at 919- 942-7387.

A rabies vaccination clinic will take place from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday at Piedmont Feed Center, located at 4805 NC Highway 54 West in Chapel Hill.

The cost for vaccinations is $10 – cash only. A link to the the full clinic schedule is available here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/15th-case-rabies-reported-orange-county-2014/

14th Rabies Case Confirmed, Set to Double 2013 High

Fourteen cases of rabies have been confirmed this year, and since it is only the beginning of June, that number is set to double last year’s total of twelve cases by the end of 2014.

The majority of rabies cases this year have been found in raccoons, and the most recent incident involves a fight between two dogs and a raccoon at a Mebane residence on June 1. The resident shot the raccoon and called Animal Control to remove it for testing. The raccoon was confirmed to be rabid – only one dog was up-to-date on its immunizations.

Director of Orange County Animal Services Bob Marotto advises Orange County residents to take preventative steps to reduce the contact between wild animals and pets, as well as their homes.

Marotto told WCHL frequent attractants for “nocturnal visitors” to residences are remnants of dog or cat food left outside, spillage from bird feeders and places to build dens such as porch or shed spaces. Marotto also advises residents of Orange County to know the frequency of wild animals near their homes and warning signs of rabid animals.

“One of the signs that something is not right with animals exhibiting rabies is that their normal behavior is absent,” Marotto said. “They may approach dogs and people. And if we see abnormal behaviors, we should take special care to remove ourselves and pets.”

If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387.

It is also advised that pets not be allowed outside without supervision, especially during the summer.

“Bats are another host of rabies and bats become more active during those months of the year,” Marotto said. “But human beings are more active in the summer. Days are longer; our dogs are outside with us in the summer for longer periods of time. So the likelihood of contact between pets and people and wildlife is greater during the summer months.”

The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year. Their next one will be held on Saturday, June 14, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill. The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10, and microchips are also offered for $25.

For more information on rabies in Orange County and a full list of 2014 clinic dates, click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/health/14th-rabies-case-confirmed-set-double-2013-high/

Rabid Fox In Chapel Hill?

Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lieutenant, Josh Mecimore, says a 911 caller reported being chased by a fox that they believed to be rabid near the Pittsboro Street and Vance Street area. The fox was seen pursuing the victim rather than fleeing, indicating that the animal was potentially unwell.

According to Lt. Mecimore, by the time officers and Animal Control had arrived, the fox was gone, and an area-wide warning was issued.

“We did a Code Red broadcast in that area, asking that folks be on the lookout for the fox, stay away from it; not approach it if they see it.” Mecimore stated. “Clearly, that’s a good idea regardless, but when you’re dealing with an animal that might not be well, it’s especially important.”

While it is still not yet confirmed if the fox is actually rabid, Lt. Mecimore encourages Chapel Hill citizens who encounter the fox to call in.

“Folks in that area need to be aware of the fact that the animal is there, and that there may be something wrong with it, and call us if they come across it.”

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any unwell or possibly dangerous wildlife in the area, please contact Chapel Hill police at 919-968-2760.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/rabid-fox-chapel-hill/

Rabid Fox Attacks Two In Hillsborough

Orange County’s twelfth confirmed case of rabies this year involves a fox said to have attacked two people in Hillsborough.

A man reported on Wednesday  that a fox grabbed his leg but he killed the animal before it could break the skin. However, a nearby resident was not so lucky. A day earlier someone reportedly was attacked and bitten by an aggressive fox that fled the area. Animal Services officials believe the same fox was responsible for both attacks.

The bite victim was treated at the emergency room and is receiving post-exposure treatment. The man who killed the fox has been referred to a community health nurse to assess his risk of exposure.

This is the first case this year involving a fox.

With this most recent report, the county’s total for the past six months surpasses all reported cases from last year.

Bob Marotto, Director of Animal Services, says the rate at which positive cases are being reported indicates that rabies is on the rise. He emphasizes the importance of consistently taking precautionary measures and reporting any incidents to Animal Services.

The next Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Saturday, June 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.

http://chapelboro.com/news/health/rabid-fox-attacks-two-hillsborough/

Eleven Rabies Confirmed In OC, Total Nears 5-Year High

Eleven rabies cases have been confirmed so far this year in Orange County, according to Animal Services. If we pass 13 confirmed cases in 2014, it will mark the highest total in the past five years.

Twelve positive rabies cases were recorded in 2013.

Bob Marotto, Director of Animal Services, said the rate at which positive cases are being reported indicates that rabies is on the rise.

“If this trend continues throughout 2014, it seems likely that we are going to have upwards of 25 or 30 confirmed cases of rabies,” Marotto said.

In the late 90s, more than 100 cases of rabies were reported annually.

“Our ups and downs over the last 10 or fifteen years have ranged from a low of five [cases], I believe, to a high of 28,” Marotto said. “It will not surprise me if we stay up in that area of upwards of 30 cases in 2015 and beyond.”

The most recent incident happened on May 4 in Chapel Hill when a resident found a dead raccoon on her property. She immediately called 9-1-1 and was connected to the on-call Animal Control Officer, who removed the raccoon.

The resident’s dog had a current rabies vaccination and will receive a booster shot pursuant to North Carolina’s rabies laws.

According to these laws, if there is “a reasonable suspicion of exposure,” a dog or cat with a current vaccination must receive a booster shot within 120 hours, equating to five days. By contrast, an unvaccinated animal must either be destroyed or quarantined for a period of six months.

Dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months are legally required to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

“The prevalence of rabies that we are experiencing requires heightened awareness and requires that we are doubling our effort to take all of the due precautions that can protect us, our families, our community and our pets.”

Marotto said that rabies is a cyclical disease that ebbs and flows, demonstrating the importance of consistently taking precautionary measures and reporting any incidents to Animal Services.

2014 LOW-COST RABIES VACCINATION CLINIC:

The next Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Saturday, June 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.

The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10, and microchips will also be offered at this clinic for $25.

Click here for 2014 clinic dates.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/eleven-rabies-confirmed-oc-total-nears-5-year-high/

Ninth Rabies Case Confirmed In Orange County

Nine rabies cases have been confirmed in Orange County so far this year, according to Animal Services.

In total, twelve positive rabies cases were recorded in 2013 – so we’re nearing that figure, and it’s only April.

On Saturday, an Efland resident found a dead raccoon outside of her barn. It was later tested and found to be rabid.

The resident owns eight animals – three horses, three dogs, and two cats – and their potential exposure to the raccoon cannot be ruled out, Animal Services said.  Seven of the eight animals are currently vaccinated against rabies and will receive a booster shot.

Unfortunately, one of the cats was not currently vaccinated and will be euthanized.

Under North Carolina law, a dog, cat or ferret that has a current rabies vaccination must only receive a booster shot within five days  of any suspected rabies exposure.

If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387. It is also advised that pets not be allowed to roam free where they can be exposed to wildlife.

The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year.

The next Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Thursday, May 8, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Public Market House/Farmer’s Market in Hillsborough.

The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10 and only cash will be accepted at this clinic.

Clinic dates for the rest of 2014 are posted here.

 

http://chapelboro.com/news/health/ninth-rabies-case-confirmed-orange-county/

Seventh Positive OC Rabies Case Confirmed In Skunk

Seven rabies cases have been confirmed in Orange County so far this year, according to Animal Services. In total, twelve positive rabies cases were recorded in 2013, so we have already surpassed the halfway mark of that figure, and it is only April.

The most recent positive rabies test involved a skunk, whereas the other incidents have involved raccoons.

On Monday, Hillsborough residents found a dead skunk in their dog’s pen.  Their son removed the skunk from the pen with a shovel before calling Animal Control to have it picked up and tested for rabies. No parties are believed to have touched the skunk or the dog after the incident, though the case has been referred to the Orange County Health Department.

A communicable disease specialist will work with the owners to assess their risk of rabies exposure.

Unfortunately, the dog in this case was not currently vaccinated against rabies. North Carolina law requires that it must be either destroyed or quarantined for six months.  By contrast, a dog or cat that does have a current rabies vaccination must only receive a booster shot within five days of any suspected rabies exposure.

Dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months are legally required to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387. It is also advised that pets not be allowed to roam free where they can be exposed to wildlife.

The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year.

The next Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Thursday, April 17, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.  The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10.

Click here for a complete list of 2014 clinic dates.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/seventh-positive-oc-rabies-case-confirmed-skunk/

OC Raccoon Rabies Cases Could Be On The Rise In 2014

Six rabies cases have been confirmed in raccoons so far this year in Orange County, according to Animal Services. In total, twelve positive rabies cases were recorded in 2013, so we have already hit half of that figure this year, and it is only March.

Bob Marotto, Director of Animal Services, said that rabies is a cyclical disease that ebbs and flows, demonstrating the importance of consistently taking precautionary measures.

“It certainly seems like we are having an uptick in the number of rabies cases. That may well be related to the cycling of rabies in the host species. We see that in the historical data available for Orange County and for the state of North Carolina,” Marotto said.

In 2005-2007, Marotto said that there were more than 20 confirmed cases reported each year. In the 1990s, when raccoon rabies first erupted in our region, he estimated that there were upwards of 90 confirmed cases per year.

The sixth rabies case in 2014 was reported on Saturday, March 22, when Carrboro residents spotted a raccoon in their driveway. They called Animal Control to have the raccoon picked up, and it later tested positive for rabies. The residents’ dog did have contact with the raccoon before Animal Control removed it, and both parties involved briefly touched their dog afterward, before washing their hands.

The dog was currently vaccinated against rabies and will receive a booster shot pursuant to North Carolina’s rabies laws.

According to these laws, if there is “a reasonable suspicion of exposure,” a dog or cat with a current vaccination must receive a booster shot within 120 hours, equating to five days. By contrast, an unvaccinated animal must either be destroyed or quarantined for a period of six months.

Dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months are legally required to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387. It is also advised that pets not be allowed to roam free where they can be exposed to wildlife.

The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year.

The next Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Thursday, April 17, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.  The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10.

Click here for a complete list of 2014 clinic dates.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/oc-raccoon-rabies-cases-rise-2014/

Fourth Rabies Case Confirmed In Orange County For 2014

Four rabies cases have been confirmed in raccoons so far this year, which Bob Marotto, Director of Orange County Animal Services, says is above the number of cases recorded at this point in recent years.

In 2012 and 2013, twelve cases of rabies were confirmed. Marotto adds that those figures were at the lower end of the range of yearly cases the county has recorded in the past two decades.

In 2005-2007, there were more than 20 confirmed cases per year.

“Twelve is actually low by historical standards. If you go back into the 1990s when raccoon rabies first erupted in our region, in our state and in our county, I believe that there were upwards of 90 confirmed cases each year,” Marotto says.

The fourth rabies case in 2014 was reported around February 27 when a Chapel Hill resident spotted his dog near a raccoon that appeared to be almost dead. The resident removed his dog from the area and called Animal Control to remove the rabid raccoon for testing.

Marotto explains that dog was not believed to have had direct contact with the raccoon, but the possibility of exposure before the owner’s arrival couldn’t be ruled out.

Unfortunately, the dog was not currently vaccinated against rabies. North Carolina law requires that it must be either destroyed or quarantined for a period of six months, which is very costly for the pet owner.

“It is not often that we have a case where there’s been an exposure of a dog or cat to rabies and the dog or cat is not vaccinated, but when that happens, the choices that face the owner are dreadful choices.”

Marotto reminds residents to have their pets vaccinated. Dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months are legally required to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

“It is prevention and reporting—I think that is really true. The prevention is that we always want to insure that our animals are vaccinated against rabies.”

If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387.

It is also advised that pets not be allowed to roam free where they can be exposed to wildlife.

The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year. Their next one will be held on Thursday, March 20, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market in Hillsborough.  The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10, and only cash will be accepted at this clinic.

Click here for a complete list of 2014 clinic dates.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/fourth-rabies-case-confirmed-2014/

11th Rabies Case Found In Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY - The Orange County Animal Services Department reported two cases of rabies Friday, bringing the total to 11 cases this year.

A Rougemont resident discovered a dead raccoon lying on her porch beside her dog Wednesday.  The dog’s owner placed the rabid raccoon in a plastic bag and then called Animal Control to have it tested for rabies, according to Orange County Animal Services.

On Thursday, a Hillsborough resident discovered a dead skunk, found later to be rabid, in her dogs’ outdoor kennel.

The dogs were all up-to-date on rabies vaccination and will receive booster shots pursuant to North Carolina statute.

The County recorded 12 positive rabies cases in 2012.

Rabies is rooted in reservoir species, such as raccoons and bats. If there is any possibility of exposure, you should immediately call Orange County Animal Services at 919.942.7387, or 911.

 

2013 RABIES VACCINATION CLINIC SCHEDULE

The last 2013 Low-Cost ($10) Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Thursday, November 14, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.  This is also a microchip clinic.

The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10 and for microchips is $25.  Clinic dates for 2014 will be posted later in the year and available at www. orangecountync.gov/animalservices or by calling Orange County Animal Services at 919.942.7387.

 

http://chapelboro.com/news/health/10th-rabies-case-found-in-orange-county/