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Sixth rabies case of 2019 confirmed in Catawba County

NEWTON, NC (August 28, 2019) — Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the county’s sixth rabies case of 2019 following an incident in Maiden. Previous cases reported to the county this year occurred in Claremont, Hickory, Maiden and Newton.

On August 26, Animal Services responded to a call from a Maiden resident concerning a dog bitten by a fox. The fox was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services August 28 that the fox tested positive for rabies.

Because the dog’s owner had proof of prior rabies vaccination, the dog was provided a booster vaccine the day after the incident. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals with prior rabies vaccination should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.

Signs that an animal may be infected with rabies include loss of appetite, irritability and unusual aggression, lack of fear and restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling and unsteadiness, difficulty swallowing, and drooling or foaming at the mouth. People who encounter an animal with any of these symptoms should avoid contact with the animal and report it to Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686. Pet owners who suspect their pet had contact with a rabid animal are also urged to call Animal Services.

Animal Services reminds pet owners that rabies is a threat to pets and humans year-round. The best way to protect pets is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies.