You can track the Rabies cases by county and in what type of animal. The current Rabies count is available at North Carolina State Laboratory Virology Group. You must enter the beginning date and ending date for this query. Guilford County tracks by calendar year.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). The virus exists in the saliva of mammals and is transmitted from animal to animal or from animal to human by biting and/or scratching. The virus can also be spread by licking, when infected saliva makes contact with open cuts or wounds, and with the mouth, eyes, and nose. If left untreated in humans and animals, rabies is fatal.
Most mammals can spread the disease but it is most often spread, in this area, by raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats. In the year 2006, Animal Control identified a coyote as a reservoir of Rabies in Guilford County. Because of the seriousness of this disease, it is necessary to have your pet vaccinated against the disease and vaccinations kept up-to-date.
If you are bitten…
If you are bitten or exposed (any penetration of skin by the teeth of a potentially rabid animal or contamination of scratches, abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes with saliva or other potentially infectious material of a potentially rabid animal) wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, and seek medical attention immediately. A health care provider will care for the wound and will assess the risk for Rabies exposure. Contact your local Animal Control Department. The following information will help your health care provider assess your risk:
- the geographic location of the incident
- the type of animal that was involved
- how the exposure occurred (provoked or unprovoked)
- the vaccination status of animal
- whether the animal can be safely captured and tested for Rabies
- Steps taken by the health care practitioner will depend on the circumstances of the bite. Your health care practitioner should consult Guilford County Department of Public Health to make an informed assessment of the incident and to request assistance. The important factor is that you seek care promptly after you are bitten by any animal.
The Rabies vaccination is very successful when the series is started soon after the bite or exposure. The vaccination process has been improved and is not like that of other generations. It is no longer a daily shot given in the stomach muscle. The vaccine, while uncomfortable, is administered in a large muscle of the patient. If left untreated, Rabies is nearly always fatal.
If your pet is bitten…
- EMERGENCY TREATMENT OF YOUR PET: To reduce your risk of contact with the Rabies virus, it is recommended that a licensed veterinarian take care of your pet’s wounds. However, if you immediately take care of your pet’s wounds, be sure to wear protective clothing (gloves, eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, etc.) to avoid contact with any animal fluids. Dispose of the protective clothing in the trash or wash them in hot water for a full cycle.
- IF YOUR PET HAS A CURRENT RABIES VACCINATION: Take your pet to your licensed veterinarian. Have your pet revaccinated for Rabies within 72 hours of the contact. Contact Animal Control, 641.5990.
- IF YOUR PET DOES NOT HAVE A CURRENT RABIES VACCINATION: Your pet will be picked up by an Animal Control officer and euthanized. Or, at the owner’s expense, the pet must be quarantined at a veterinary hospital for a period of six months. Contact Animal Control, 641.5990.
- PROTECTING YOURSELF: Consult your physician regarding your exposure to the Rabies virus.
- Do not try to trap or help the attacking animal. Animal Control will attempt to secure the animal for Rabies testing.
Many local Veterinarians offer low cost Rabies vaccination clinics four times a year. These Clinics are generally held during the months of February, May, August and November on either the second Tuesday or Saturday of these months at the participating Veterinarian’s office. Please contact your Veterinarian to see if he/she will be sponsoring a clinic at their office and at what times.
Prevention tips for around the house or yard:
- Do not try to separate fighting animals.
- Avoid strange and sick animals.
- Leave animals alone when they are eating.
- Keep pets on a leash when out in public.
- Select family pets carefully.
- Never leave a young child alone with a pet.
- All domestic dogs and cats 4 months of age and older should be immunized against Rabies and shots kept current.
- Do not approach or play with wild animals of any kind. Enjoy Wildlife from a distance.
- Supervise pets so they do not come into contact with wild animals.
- Food sources attract animals. Feed only your animals.
- If you find a dead animal in your yard, use a shovel or a plastic grocery bag to collect the dead animal. Promptly bury the animal or dispose of it in the trash container.