BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — Burke County Animal Control says a domesticated cat tested positive for the rabies virus, according to a news release.
This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in 2020 in Burke County. The cat lived in the area of Airport-Rhodhiss Road and Hickory-Airport Road.
Sheriff’s Office Animal Control officers have canvassed the community where the cat lived to make residents aware,
but the Sheriff’s Office wanted to make all residents aware in case you or your pets have been in the area recently.
At this time, it is not known how the cat contracted the rabies virus.
North Carolina law requires that all domestic pets (cats, dogs and ferrets), whether living inside or outside, age four
months or older be vaccinated. Even animals that are confined in outdoor fenced areas should have current rabies
vaccinations, because wild animals can get into these areas and attack your pets.
Rabies circulates within our wildlife population throughout the entire year. Here are some tips to help prevent you or your family from coming in contact with the rabies virus as the weather warms and you are outside enjoying nature:
- Avoid direct contact with wildlife, dead or alive.
- Never touch any wildlife with your bare hands.
- If you find a sick or injured animal, contact Animal Control at 828-764-9512 and let them handle it.
- Do not try to rescue or treat the animal yourself.
- Avoid any animal displaying unnatural behavior. Wild animals are not usually friendly so be very careful if they approach you.
- Feed your pets indoors. Leaving food outside will attract dogs, cats or other wildlife and bring them into your yard.
- Animal-proof your trash. Make sure that your trashcan lids are secure and don’t leave trash bags outside the cans.
- Report all stray animals to Animal Control. Stray animals may not be vaccinated against rabies and run the risk of carrying rabies.
For information on the Rabies virus, Rabies Control & Prevention, and NC Rabies Control Laws visit the following North Carolina Public Health Website: https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/rabies/control.html