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Raccoon is fifth rabies case in Orange County

Posted March 6, 2014

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— A raccoon found in Hillsborough has tested positive for rabies, marking the fifth confirmed case of the virus in Orange County this year, health officials said Thursday.

The raccoon was spotted March 2 by a resident who saw the animal outside her window. The raccoon appeared to have trouble walking and was falling every few feet, officials said. The woman called Animal Control, which picked up the raccoon for testing.

The woman’s cat has a current rabies vaccination and will receive a booster shot, which is required by state law when a vaccinated pet is exposed to rabies. Unvaccinated animals must be destroyed or quarantined for six months.

“Rabies is a cyclical disease that ebbs and flows over time in the host species. But the most important thing for people to remember is that our precautions and safety measures remain the same, given that we know we have raccoon rabies here in North Carolina,” Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto said in a statement.

His department will host a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 20, at the Farmers Market in Hillsborough. Check the department’s website for more details and dates.

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  • idoofus3 Mar 7, 2014

    Note - should you decide to eliminate a suspected rabies carrier yourself, do not shoot it in the head. The wildlife pathologist requires an intact brain to test for rabies.