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Protect Yourself from Rabies

Protect Yourself from Rabies
Rabies is a deadly viral disease affecting the central nervous system. Rabies can be prevented but not cured. A healthy animal or human can get rabies when bitten, licked or scratched by a sick animal. The virus lives in the saliva and nervous tissue. You can get rabies if animal saliva gets into a cut, scratch or mucous membrane.

Fortunately, by taking a few simple precautions, it is easy to prevent rabies.

  • Make sure your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Dogs, cats and ferrets are required to have a current rabies vaccination. Animals cannot be treated for exposure to rabies. NEVER ALLOW RABIES VACCINATIONS TO EXPIRE.
  • Puppies & kittens that have not been vaccinated should not be left outdoors un-supervised.
  • Obey leash laws and keep your pets restrained.
  • Report stray animals to Animal Care and Control (704-336-7600 or 311).
  • Teach your children to stay away from animals they do not know including wild animals. A rabid wild animal may act tame.
  • If raccoons or other animals are lurking around your yard and acting sick or abnormal, telephone Animal Care and Control (704 336-7600 or 311).
  • Avoid attracting or handling wild animals. Feed your pets indoors. Do not toss table scraps into your yard. Do not leave pet food outside for any length of time.
  • Keep your property free of exposed garbage, pet food, and bird feed. If trash must be stored outside at night, put it in sturdy tightly closed containers.
  • Keep your home in good repair to prevent animals from entering through cracks and crevices. Use strong metal mesh to cover potential entryways such as chimneys, dryer vents, and holes in eaves.
  • If you find a bat in your home or have direct contact with a bat, telephone Animal Care and Control, your physician and the Health Department.  Minimal contact with bats may result in rabies transmission.
  • If you are disposing of a wild animal, wear gloves and use a shovel – avoid direct contact.
  • Do not touch an injured animal - telephone Animal Care and Control (704 336-7600 or  311).
  • Stay away from animal traps and storm drains. Raccoons travel through storm drains.
  • There is no easy test for rabies.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal follow these guidelines:

  • Wash all wounds and contact areas thoroughly with soap and water for 15 minutes.
  • Contact your physician.
  • Telephone Animal Care and Control to report the incident (704 336-7600 or 311). North Carolina law requires animal bites to be reported by the person bitten, the owner of the biting animal, and the physician who first treats the bite victim.
  • Telephone the Health Department (704-336-6440).
  • If no risk of further injury, isolate the animal until Animal Control arrives to assist.

If an animal attacks your pet, follow these guidelines:

  • Put on gloves before touching your pet.
  • Isolate your pet.
  • Telephone your veterinarian. Your pet may need a rabies booster shot immediately.
  • Telephone Animal Care and Control (704-336-7600 or 311).
  • Telephone the Health Department (704-336-6440).

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