Raccoon found near Asheville Humane Society tests positive for r - FOX Carolina 21

Raccoon found near Asheville Humane Society tests positive for rabies

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Raccoon spotted in maple tree in Caldwell County, NC (Source: Ken Thomas/ Wikimedia) Raccoon spotted in maple tree in Caldwell County, NC (Source: Ken Thomas/ Wikimedia)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Buncombe County Health and Human Services confirmed Tuesday that a raccoon in the county tested positive for rabies virus.

The rabid raccoon was found in the vicinity of the Asheville Humane Society on Forever Friend Lane on Nov. 3. Testing by the North Carolina State Lab confirmed a positive test for the virus.

“Rabies is a serious disease that can be fatal without immediate treatment. Any person that thinks they may have come into contact with this raccoon should contact Communicable Disease,” said Jessica Silver, BCHHS Environmental Health Director.

Below are tips for residents in the area where the raccoon was found:

  • Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you believe you or your child came in contact with the raccoon.
  • Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you believe your pet came in contact with the raccoon. Be sure that pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations, per North Carolina law.
  • There are known feral cats in the area.  Health officials advise everyone to avoid wild or unfamiliar animals: keep children and pets away from wild or strange animals, keep your pet on a leash when out for a walk, and do not rescue pets or touch wild animals. 
  • If your pet comes in contact with a wild or strange animal, avoid contact with both animals.  If this occurs, residents in Buncombe County should call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office at 250-6670. City of Asheville residents can call the Asheville Police Department at 252-1110.
  • If you have been bitten by any animal:
    1. Clean your wound thoroughly for at least 10 minutes with soap and water.
    2. Immediately contact Animal Control if you or your pet is bitten to assist in capturing the animal for observation and/or rabies testing. 
    3. See a medical provider for wound evaluation and possible treatment.
  • “Post-exposure vaccines” can prevent the transmission of the rabies disease if administered within 72 hours. If a person bitten by an animal with rabies does not get the recommended rabies post-exposure treatment, they will die, usually within just a few days after symptoms develop.
  • Any medical provider who cares for someone who has been bitten by an animal must report the animal bite within 24 hours. The animal bite report form is available on our website at www.buncombecounty.org – under the “I Want to Report” section at the top of the homepage. If the animal is caught and tested and does not have rabies, you will not need to have post-exposure shots. 
  • In Buncombe County, contact BCHHS Communicable Disease at (828) 250-5109 for a consultation related to rabies exposure.

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