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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Rabies Warning From Pender County Health Department

Pender County Health Department has confirmed a second case of rabies since March in the Rocky Point area.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. The virus can be transmitted through a bite or by contact with the tissue in your nose, mouth, and eyes. Symptoms of the disease may occur from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Rabies is fatal once symptoms occur. In Pender County, rabies has also been found in raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes

In the warmer months, we spend more time outdoors. To protect yourself, your family, and your pets from exposure to rabies:

  • 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 you find a raccoon or other wild animal in your yard during the daytime and the animal 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 your pets, keep your pets in your yard or indoors, and their rabies vaccinations current. A current vaccination is required by law. If your unvaccinated pet comes in contact with a rabid animal, your pet will be impounded and will be “put to sleep.”

  • If your 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 your pet is bitten by a potentially rabid animal use gloves to handle the 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 you are bitten by a stray dog, cat, or wild animal, you should immediately wash the area where you were bitten with soap and warm water for at least 15 minutes. Secondly, contact your family doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. Some bites may require you to take an antibiotic. All bites require an updated Tetanus. Your doctor will call Animal Control and the incident will be investigated by an Animal Control Officer.

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