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Two rabid animals in Raleigh this week. Here's how to get a low-cost vaccine this weekend

Two rabid wild animals were found in Raleigh this week.

A rabid fox had “contact” with a person on Pineland Circle, off Western Boulevard in west Raleigh, on Monday. It's less than a tenth of a mile from where a child was bitten by a rabid fox earlier this year.

The second animal, a dead bat, was found Monday on Calorie Court near the Lake Park area in northwest Raleigh.

The fox was euthanized and both animals tested positive for rabies, Raleigh police said Tuesday.

What is Rabies?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the viral disease can spread to people and pets who are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, often bats, raccoons and foxes.

What is the danger?

Rabies infects the nervous system of animals and people. A person who contracts rabies and is not treated may experience flu-like symptoms, leading to delirium, abnormal behavior, fear of water, and insomnia.

“Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is almost always fatal and treatment is usually supportive,” the CDC says. “There have been fewer than 20 documented cases of people surviving clinical rabies.”

If an animal is bitten or scratched, it can take weeks for the virus to attack the brain and spinal cord. Once it reaches the brain, it travels to the salivary glands and the animal begins to show signs of the disease. Animals usually die within 10 days of showing symptoms of illness.

How can you prevent rabies?

People should Avoid wild animals and teach children to do the same. Wake County says stray animals behaving strangely should be reported to a local animal control agency.

But what does “strange” look like in wild animals? The CDC provides some examples:

  • Animals that drool excessively

  • Animals that are overly aggressive or appear tamer than normal

  • Animals that bite imaginary objects

  • Animals that have difficulty moving or are paralyzed

  • Bats on the ground

North Carolina is also participating in a federal program to administer a fishmeal-coated oral rabies vaccine to raccoons in the western part of the state.

How much does the rabies vaccination cost?

State law requires Dogs, cats and ferrets Get a rabies shot.

The price of the vaccine can range from $30 to $100, depending on whether it is for one or three years. Veterinarians often require a health exam or charge an office fee, which can be another $50 to $75.

Are there inexpensive options? Yes, but the deployment requires a little planning. Wake County Animal Services just hosted four community days in March and April. Some nonprofits, such as the SPCA of Wake County, offer low-cost clinics.

Raleigh Animal Control is hosting a low-cost clinic on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Roberts Park, 1300 E. Martin St. A one-year rabies vaccination costs $5, and pets can be microchipped and given a free distemper shot. The event is only possible against cash payment.

Other upcoming clinics:

  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. May 19, Oakwood Park, 910 Brookside Drive

  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 15, Anderson Point Park, 20 Andrews Point Drive

  • 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Dorothea Dix Park, 1030 Richardson Drive

How dangerous are bats?

Most bats do not have rabies, but they are the leading cause of rabies death for humans in the United States, according to the CDC.

Bat bites can be small and People may not always know they have been exposed.

“If you wake up with a bat in your room, you may have been exposed to rabies and should see your doctor or call public health officials, even if you don't feel a bite,” the CDC says. “Health care providers will conduct a risk assessment to determine whether you need a rabies vaccination.”

If the bat can be captured and the test is negative for rabies, a rabies vaccination may not be necessary.

May is the beginning Bat resting time and bats can potentially get into small holes in attics and chimneys. Those in need of bat removal can find a wildlife conservation officer for their area at ncwildlife.org.

Anna Harden

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