Local News

Skunk is ninth rabies case in Orange County

Posted August 24, 2012 1:19 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2012 1:29 p.m. EDT

— Orange County reported its ninth confirmed case of rabies Friday after a skunk that attacked a woman the day before tested positive for the virus.

Officials said the woman saw the skunk trying to get into her residence near Mount Sinai and Turkey Farm roads in Durham. The skunk ran toward the woman and bit her foot. When animal control officers arrived, they found the skunk trying once again to get inside the house.

The animal was taken to the North Carolina Rabies Laboratory, which confirmed it had rabies.

The woman went to a nearby hospital after being bitten and has begun treatment, officials said. The woman had pets that were inside the house and not exposed to the skunk.

County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto urged residents to vaccinate their pets and to call authorities immediately if they come into contact with an animal behaving oddly.

“Knowing to call the proper authorities in a timely manner is one of the most important measures for effective rabies control,” he said.

Orange County documented 11 cases of rabies in 2011.

The county is hosting a $10 rabies vaccination clinic on Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Public Market House in Hillsborough. Another clinic will be Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.