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Rabies confirmed in raccoon here

The Department of Public Health (DPH)state laboratory confirmed rabies in a raccoon which was killed after tangling with a dog in the Zebulon Road area. The lab confirmation was dated April 4. The dog’s vaccinations were up to date and it was given a rabies booster shot. It is confined at home under control of its owner for 45 days. This is the first confirmed rabies case for Lamar in 2019. DPH officials strongly encourage owners to vaccinate pets against rabies. Unvaccinated animals should be placed in strict isolation for 4 (dogs and cats) or 6 (ferrets) months and vaccinated upon entry or one month before release. All residents are encouraged to take precautions to protect their families and pets against rabies by learning signs of rabies and vaccinating pets. Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals that is most often spread through the bite of an animal that is infected with the disease. Rabies infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy (a disease of the brain) and, ultimately, death. Early symptoms of the disease include fever and headache. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, a slight or partial paralysis, hyper salivation, and/or difficulty swallowing. ‘If you notice a wild or nocturnal animal moving about in the daytime and the animal appears to show no fear of people or the animal seems to behave in a sick or abnormal way (disoriented), the animal may be infected with rabies,’ said Hayla Folden, District 4 public information officer. ‘People should avoid animals acting out of character and report it to the local health department or animal control.’ Treatment and prevention practices for rabies have proven to be almost 100 percent effective when initiated promptly. Please report any bite, scratch, or other contact with a wild animal to your local environmental health office. ’It is important to remember that although rabies occurs more often in wildlife, domestic animals like the family dog or cat can become infected as well. I strongly encourage owners to have all pets vaccinated to prevent rabies,’ said Kelly Wilson, County Environmental Health Manager. Lamar County has had no other specimens sent for testing in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of rabies cases reported annually occur in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. For more information about rabies, please contact your local animal control office

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