4th rabies case confirmed; Clinics set for Wednesday, Thursday Print

Haywood County Animal Services has confirmed the second case of rabies in eastern Haywood County in less than a week, prompting officials to schedule two vaccination clinics for Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

The latest incident occurred on Wednesday, June 28, when family members in the Canton area discovered a skunk in their barn, exhibiting unusual behavior. According to the incident report, the skunk was off balance and falling down. The skunk was killed and sent to the NC Department of Health and Human Services laboratory, where it tested positive.

This marks the fourth case of rabies so far this year in the same general area of the county, two in skunks and two in raccoons. Prior to this year, there had only been five cases of rabies confirmed in Haywood County since 2006.

As a result of these incidents, Animal Services and the Haywood County Health Department have scheduled rabies clinics from 5 to 7 p.m. at North Canton Elementary School on Wednesday, July 6 and Thursday, July 7. The cost of the vaccines will be $7.50 per pet.

“This latest case occurred in the Chestnut Mountain of Canton, which is off Old Ashville Hwy below the Hot Spot convenience store,” said Jean Hazzard, Haywood County Animal Services Director. “The other three cases have been between I-40 Exits 31 and 33 in Canton.”

Haywood County Health Director Carmine Rocco urged pet owners to take advantage of next week’s rabies clinics, given the unusually high number of cases so far this year.

“There is really no better way to protect family members from rabies exposure and avoid the high expense associated with treatment and keeping pets quarantined than getting and keeping your pets vaccinated,” Rocco said. “Even if you don’t live in the area where these incidents occurred, it’s a good idea to bring your pets over to be vaccinated.”

According to North Carolina law, all dogs and cats four months old and older must be vaccinated against rabies on an annual basis. North Carolina courts have ruled that to be in compliance with the law, the rabies vaccination must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.

For more information on rabies in Haywood County, please contact Animal Services at 828-456-5338 or the county Health Department at 828-452-6675. There is also a wealth of information on rabies available on the web from the Epidemiology Division of North Carolina Public Health at www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/rabies/, or from the federal Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ .

For more information, contact:
David Teague, Public Information Officer
Haywood County
828-452-7305; 828-400-9691 or
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