Buncombe Co. Health & Human Services reminds residents to vaccinate pets against rabies

From Buncombe County Health & Human Services:

Rabies Vaccination Helps Stop Spread of Rabies in WNC

Buncombe County, N.C. – Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) wants you to be aware of some local activities aimed at reducing rabies in our community. In North Carolina, the most common type of rabies is raccoon-variant rabies. It is found commonly in raccoons, skunks, red and grey foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers but can infect any mammal, including household pets and humans.

To prevent the westward spread of raccoon rabies, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are in their 12th year of coordinating oral rabies vaccine (ORV) bait drops in our state. The bait consists of a small packet similar to a ketchup packet, coated with a mixture of fishmeal and fish oil known to attract raccoons. Raccoons that eat the vaccine-laced bait become immune to rabies. The vaccine and bait are not considered dangerous. The ORV bait drops will occur via aircraft in parts of Buncombe County and surrounding WNC counties. Please visit the NC Department of Public Health website for more information at http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/rabies/orv.html. You may also call the N.C. Veterinary Public Health program at (919) 733-3419 with any questions about the ORV bait drop.

There were seven documented cases of rabies in Buncombe County in 2016. BCHHS urges all citizens to vaccinate their pets regularly to protect against rabies. There are low-cost rabies clinics held throughout the year in Buncombe County. Prices for pet vaccinations range from $10 to $15 per vaccination. The dates and times of the next low-cost rabies vaccination clinics are:

  • Sunday, October 1, 2017 – 11 AM – 2 PM
    Asheville Humane Society, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville NC 28806
  • Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 11 AM – 2 PM
    Leicester Community Center, 2979 New Leicester Highway, Leicester NC 28748

If you or your pet comes in contact with a wild or strange animal, avoid contact with both animals.  If this occurs, residents in Buncombe County should call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office at 250-6670. City of Asheville residents can call the Asheville Police Department at 252-1110.

If you are bitten or scratched by any animal, clean the wound out well with soap and running water for 15 minutes and contact your doctor. Do not try to catch any wild animal that bites or scratches you. Call animal control immediately to capture the animal for rabies testing. If the animal is someone’s pet, get the owner’s name and address and give their address to the animal control officer. Medical providers that treat animal bites are required to report all animal bites. The form for reporting bites can be found at www.buncombecounty.org/health.

For more information on rabies, visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/rabies.html

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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