Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Pender County identifies case of rabies in Rocky Point

Pender County Health Department confirmed the second case of rabies in Rocky Point since March. (Courtesy Pender County)

PENDER COUNTY — A case of rabies was confirmed in Pender County this week.

The Pender County Health Department identified another case of rabies in the Rocky Point area, the second since March. The announcement also comes the day after New Hanover County reported a case of rabies found in a bat.

READ MORE: Rabies test returns positive for bat in NHC

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. The virus can be transmitted through a bite or through the nose, mouth, and eyes. Symptoms can appear within two weeks, up to six months after exposure. Rabies is fatal once symptoms occur.

In Pender County, rabies has also been found in raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes.

To protect against possible exposure, the Pender County Health Department recommends the following:

  • Do not feed or attract wildlife. Some changes in behavior that are common in rabid animals: nocturnal animals that are seen during the day, animals that are not afraid of humans, become aggressive, and attack other animals or people for no reason may have paralysis of the limbs or throat or lying down.
  • If a raccoon or other wild animal in is the yard during the daytime and appears to be either sick or aggressive, do not touch or attempt to control the animal. Call Animal Control at 910-259-1349 and report the animal immediately.
  • To protect pets, keep them in the yard or indoors and their rabies vaccinations current. A current vaccination is required by law. If an unvaccinated pet comes in contact with a rabid animal, the pet will be impounded and will be “put to sleep.”
  • If a dog or cat fights with a wild animal, such as a raccoon, or a stray dog or cat, call animal control. If the attacking wild animal is captured it will be tested for rabies. All dogs or cats that bite a person will be under observation for 10 days.
  • If a pet is bitten by a potentially rabid animal use gloves to handle the pet, or cover the pet with a cloth or towel, and keep children away from the pet. Take the pet to your veterinarian.
  • If a person is bitten by a stray dog, cat, or wild animal, immediately wash the area with soap and warm water for at least 15 minutes. Then contact a doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. Some bites may require an antibiotic. All bites require an updated Tetanus. Doctors will call Animal Control and the incident will be investigated by an officer.

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