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Rabid animal attacks have been reported recently in Durham and Orange counties which underlines the fact that rabies also exists in northeastern North Carolina’s wild animal population.

Recently, a 4-year-old Durham girl was bitten by a fox that climbed a fenced-in yard at a day care center, according to a report by the News and Observer in Raleigh. Another fox attacked two women in Chapel Hill hours later, the paper reported. Rabies can become a public health issue when a person is bitten or a pet is attacked by a wild animal.

Rabies is very dangerous, left untreated it is deadly. Despite its danger, rabies exposure in pets and humans is a relatively rare occurrence in northeastern North Carolina. Cats are the most commonly affected domestic animals, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The largest majority of reported rabies cases each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes.

It is imperative to make sure your pets have updated rabies shots. Potentially exposed pets that have not had a rabies vaccination or a booster shot within three years will be quarantined for 10 days to see if rabies is present in the animal. Pets thought to be infected must be quarantined for six months. However, most families are unable to afford the cost of quarantining pets and are forced to have the animal put to sleep.

Rabies is most often transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site. When a human is exposed to rabies an effective method to decrease the chance of infection is to thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water according to the Center for Disease Control. People exposed to the disease also may need to have a series of six shots over a 28-day period.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY, who handle car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.


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