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LAB TESTS CONFIRM COUNTY'S 28TH RABID ANIMAL

Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Health Department's Communicable Disease Control nurses have posted flyers in a north Mecklenburg neighborhood advising residents of a rabid raccoon that was killed in the area. This is the 28th rabid animal confirmed in Mecklenburg County this year, one more than in all of 2002.

Laboratory tests that were returned to the Health Department late Friday confirmed this most recent case. Two dogs killed the raccoon in a neighborhood on Neck Road, near the Mecklenburg County and Gaston County line.  Both of the dogs had current rabies vaccinations.

Last year, there were 27 rabid animals identified in the county.  Piercy says he expects to see even more cases this year as the season continues and that people should take precautions to minimize their exposure, such as:

· Make sure pet vaccinations are up-to-date
· Keep your distance from wild animals and report them to Animal Control.
· Don't attract wildlife by leaving pet food outdoors or open garbage cans.

A detailed list of precautions can be found on the Health Department's Web site at www.meckhealth.org.

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.

North Carolina law requires animal bites to be reported by the person bitten, the owner of the biting animal, if applicable, and the physician who first treats the bite victim.  For more information about rabies, or to report an animal bite, call the Mecklenburg County Health Department can be reached at 704-336-6440. 



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