MOREHEAD CITY County health officials confirmed Friday that a raccoon displaying abnormal behavior Jan. 2 near Swinson Park tested positive for rabies.

The County Health Department issued a press release Friday afternoon stating that County Animal Control responded to a call for service Jan. 2 involving a potentially rabid raccoon in the vicinity of Country Club Road and Swinson Park. The raccoon did not have any contact with humans or pets, according to the release.

“The raccoon was euthanized and the specimen was submitted to the State Public Health Lab for rabies testing,” the release stated.

County Animal Control received results Friday “indicating the raccoon tested positive for rabies.”

County Animal Control Supervisor Lauren Anderson encouraged members of the public noticing wildlife exhibiting abnormal behavior to immediately contact Animal Control.

To report wildlife displaying abnormal behavior, contact Animal Control by calling 911.

“County residents should be aware of wildlife, should not leave food out that will attract animals, and should not attempt to make contact with wildlife,” Ms. Anderson stated. “We want everyone to know that rabies can be present in wildlife, so it’s important to keep your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.”

For more information on rabies and how to prevent exposure to rabies, visit http//epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/rabies/control.html.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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