NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The county is reminding area residents to use extra precaution amid nature’s surroundings as temperatures warm and people spend more time outdoors.
This week a bat was captured by the New Hanover County Animal Services Unit after showing signs of illness or injury. It was taken in for rabies testing, wherein results returned positive via the the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.
“While we do not see rabies often in our community, we know that the threat is there as our local ecosystem has numerous mammals who could be potential carriers,” NHC’s health director Jon Campbell said in a release. “This case is a good reminder that this disease is out there, and families should be cautious if they are outside and cross paths with an animal that isn’t acting normally.”
The county encourages residents to keep all pet vaccinations current, an ordinance requirement. All food and garbage should also be kept at a distance from outside the home as to not attract wildlife.
Any animal that is dead should not be touched, moved or retrieved with bare hands.
Residents that come across any animal that may show signs of illness or aggression can report it to the New Hanover County Animal Services Unit: 910-798-7500.
Those who experience a bite or whose pet endures one should wash the wound immediately to remove saliva and then contact animal services.
“Postexposure medication for humans and re-vaccination of pets will likely be necessary as directed by medical professionals,” the county noted in a release.
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