Guilford County has reported that a raccoon found on Morehead Avenue in College Hill tested positive for rabies. The animal was captured last Wednesday.
The raccoon was taken by Guilford County Animal Control around 2 p.m. on February 15 in the 900 block of Morehead, between South Mendenhall and Jackson streets. It was lethargic and didn’t attack any people or animals.
Raccoons are the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species, accounting for 30.2 percent of all animal cases during 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, few raccoons can actually spread the disease. Rabies in raccoons is communicable only in the final one to three days of an infected raccoon’s life. It is spread through saliva and almost always through a bite. Only one human death from a rabid raccoon has ever been reported, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Don’t be alarmed simply by seeing raccoons during the day. Although they’re more active at night, they often move around during the day. It is time to be alarmed if you see one staggering, wandering erratically, seemingly oblivious to noise or surroundings, with wet and matted hair on its face, making repeated high-pitch sounds or mutilating itself. Stay as far away as possible, keep pets away from it and call Animal Control at 336-641-5990 immediately.
Low-cost rabies vaccinations
State law requires that all cats and dogs be vaccinated against rabies, regardless of whether they live indoors or out. Low-cost rabies vaccinations are available for $10 Monday through Saturday at the Planned Pethood Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, 4527 West Wendover Avenue (at the Humane Society of the Piedmont). Other organizations have low-cost rabies clinics periodically at pet stores and other locations.