Raccoon found in Mooresville tests positive for rabies



Tuesday evening Iredell County Animal Services removed a raccoon from Lee Street Park in Mooresville, NC. Rabies testing results on the raccoon were confirmed to be positive. Any person who had contact with this animal should contact the Iredell County Health Department by calling 704-878-5300 for an exposure risk assessment. Rabies is a fatal disease in humans, but getting prompt treatment can prevent it from developing. The most common type of exposure that transmits rabies is a bite from a rabid animal. People may also be exposed when saliva from the animal gets into open cuts in the skin or mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose and mouth.

Iredell County Health Department reminds the public to avoid any contact with wild or stray animals. These animals could be infected with rabies. Abnormal behavior seen in rabid animals include: overly friendly behavior, aggressive behavior, uncoordinated movement or appearance of illness. These animals also might not acknowledge the presence of humans around them. Domestic animals with rabies may be aggressive or lethargic. It is also possible for an animal to carry rabies and not yet display symptoms.

Since 2010, the North Carolina State Laboratory for Public Health has confirmed fifty positive animal rabies cases in Iredell County including eighteen raccoons. People living in the area near where the raccoon was found should also be aware of exposure to any other animal that may be behaving unusually. Pets or stray animals with suspected exposure to any other animal that may be behaving unusually should be reported to Iredell County Animal Services at 704-878-5335.

According to Iredell County Health Director, Jane Murray, “Many exposures to rabid animals are preventable. All residents should avoid the handling of wild animals, regardless of the circumstances. Please share this information with your children. Human rabies infection always results in death.”

Please visit the Iredell County Health Department website for more information on rabies and how to protect yourself http://www.co.iredell.nc.us/Departments/Health/rabies_info.aspx or visit the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/

This press release appears as obtained from the Iredell County Health Department with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here. Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed. Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  Press release posted at WSICfm.com. Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information obtained from the Iredell County Health Department.

Author: WSIC editor