Rabid raccoon confirmed in Carolina

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A rabid raccoon was found in the Carolina community last week, according to Alabama Department of Public Health officials.

Stacy Williamson of ADPH said in a release that local public health officials are urging people to take basic, but extremely important, precautions in the county against rabies.


Williamson said the main concern is that a rabid animal may come into contact with humans, their pets or livestock and that rabies is considered to be endemic in the raccoon population.

The following precautions should be taken to avoid possible exposure to rabies:

• Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash;

• Do not leave out uneaten pet food or scraps around your house;

• Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets;

• Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner;

• Instruct children not to go near any stray or wild animal regardless of its behavior; and,

• Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by an animal.

“Our area has experienced an increase in the number of bites by domestic animals in the past few months,” Williamson said.

Officials said it’s important for a person who is bitten or scratched by an animal to wash wounds immediately with mild soap and water, apply first aid, and seek medical attention or contact the county health department immediately.

Rabies is preventable in humans following exposure if treatment is provided in a timely manner.

State law requires that all cats, dogs and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older must be kept current with rabies vaccinations.

Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock if recommended by a veterinarian.

Vaccinating animals reduces the risk of rabies infection should an exposure occur, thus vaccination helps protect the animals, as well as their owners and caretakers.