FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Arlinda Ellison
March 23, 2022 Office: (336) 229-3665
On March 21, the North Carolina State Lab of Public Health in Raleigh confirmed Alamance County’s first case of rabies for the year.
On March 18, Burlington Animal Services was notified of a human exposure to a raccoon that occurred earlier in the N. Park Avenue area of Burlington. The raccoon was sent to the North Carolina State Lab for rabies testing where it was found to be positive.
The human exposure identified by the Health Department was recommended for immediate post-exposure treatment. There were also six to eight feral cats identified as coming in contact with the raccoon. Because the cats had been previously vaccinated, they will receive booster vaccinations. All appropriate vaccination and quarantine laws are being followed by the Health Department in cooperation with Burlington Animal Services.
Because this is a feral community and all animals may not have been identified, it is recommended that any outside animals be checked and monitored for bite wounds, and receive a rabies booster vaccination if previously vaccinated or if exposure to the raccoon is in question.
If you live in this area and are concerned about possible exposure, please contact the Burlington Animal Services at 336-578-0343 or the On-Call Communicable Disease Nurse at 336-516-7715.
It is North Carolina law that cats and dogs be vaccinated against rabies. The first vaccination should occur when the dog or cat is no more than 4 months of age; the second vaccination is required no more than a year later and then again every three years. If you are bitten by any animal:
- Wash the wound with soap and running water for ten (10) minutes and seek medical attention immediately.
- Write down the location of the animal and a description of the animal to provide to animal control. If the animal is someone’s pet, also get the owner’s name and address. Give this information to animal control or the health department.
- Do not try to catch any wild or stray animal
Last year, Alamance County had four confirmed animal cases of rabies. For more information or questions about rabies control and vaccinations requirements, contact the Health Department’s Environmental Health office at (336) 570-6367.