August 23, 2017
Murphy, NC -- After recording only 2 cases of rabies in wild animals at the Cherokee County Health Department (CCHD) in the three-year period of 2014 through 2016, CCHD has found 3 confirmed cases and 2 more cases to be confirmed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the calendar year 2017. This increase reminds us that rabies awareness needs to be revisited and safety around animals needs to be practiced.
The animals testing positive were a raccoon, a cat, and a deer. The animals to be confirmed a rabid are a raccoon and a coyote. Rabies can occur in many animals, but the ones of greatest concern in our area are dogs, cats, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, skunks, and bats. Rabies is a deadly virus that can be transmitted to humans.
Rabies causes animals to behave abnormally. This can be manifested by unsteadiness, poor vision, poor appearance, lack of fear of humans in wild animals, aggressiveness, drooling, excessive howling, refusing to eat or drink, and other symptoms.
Keep in mind the following when you and your family are out and about:
The Health Department will continue to participate in the surveillance activities for possibly rabid animals, will continue to assist and advise persons bitten, and will be glad to answer any questions you may have. The staff at CCHD are qualified and ready to help. You can call Philip Anderson, Environmental Health Specialist, at 828-360-4381.
Feel free to share any post from the WKRK website that you feel is beneficial to your community. We encourage input from local law enforcement, government officials, emergency management officials, schools and other public service organizations. To send us information, use the form on our Contact Us page.