Ninth case of rabies confirmed in Catawba County

NEWTON, NC (September 12, 2018) — Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the ninth case of rabies in the county this year. Previous cases reported this year by Catawba County occurred in Maiden, Vale, Newton, Hickory, Sherrills Ford and Claremont.

On September 9, Catawba County Animal Services responded to a call from a Sherrills Ford resident whose spouse received a scratch from a fox that had an altercation with their two dogs. The fox was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services September 12 that the fox tested positive for rabies.

The affected resident received medical care. The dogs were current on their rabies vaccines and received rabies boosters after the incident occurred. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals current on their rabies vaccine should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.

Animal Services reminds pet owners that rabies is still present in the local wild animal population and is a threat to pets and humans year-round. 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. The best way to protect pets from rabies is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies. 

For more information, call Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686.