Bat brings Durham County’s first rabies case of year

June 23, 2014 

Health officials are reminding pet owners to vaccinate their pets against rabies after Durham County recorded its first confrmed case of 2014. Neighboring Orange County already has 14, more than in each of the past two years. Here, veterinary health care manager Josh Fisher, gives a poodle named Diva a shot during the Orange County Animal Services low-cost rabies vaccination clinic June 14, 2014.

MARK SCHULTZ — mschultz@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Durham County has its first confirmed rabies case of the year.

An officer with the sheriff’s Animal Services division responded to the 6900 block of Calais Drive on Thursday after a homeowner found a bat in her home. The officer captured the bat and sent it to the state public health laboratory for rabies testing. No people or pets are known to have had direct contact with the bat.

“Once again we are reminded of the importance of keeping our pets vaccinated against rabies. Durham County last year repealed its animal tax and we’ve seen an increase in the number of people bringing in their pets for rabies vaccines as a result,” Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said.

“We know, however, there are still plenty of pets in the county that are not vaccinated, and that concerns me. The vaccine is quick, convenient, and reasonably priced. I encourage people to take advantage of our services and protect their pets and loved ones from possible infection.”

The Sheriff’s Animal Services Division, located at 3005 Glenn Road, offers rabies vaccines from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for $10. No appointment is necessary, but photo identification is required and payments must be made in cash. For more information call 919-560-0630.

Sheriff’s deputies have sent more than 40 animals to the state laboratory for rabies testing in 2014. Animals sent for testing include dogs, cats, bats and raccoons. There were no confirmed rabies cases in Durham County in 2012 and 12 confirmed cases in 2013.

For a map of all confirmed rabies cases since January 2013, go to goo.gl/maps/1vmsK.

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