The second case of rabies in eastern Haywood County in less than a week has been confirmed, marking the fourth case so far this year in the same general area of the county.
Two cases were in skunks and two were in raccoons. Before this year, only five cases of rabies had been confirmed in Haywood County since 2006.
In the most recent incident, a Canton area resident 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 N.C. Department of Health and Human Services laboratory, where it tested positive.
Also last week, a group of hunting dogs got into a fight with the raccoon. The raccoon was killed and the owner of the dogs reported the incident. Tests on the raccoon came back positive.
Two vaccination clinics have been scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, July 6 and 7, at North Canton Elementary School. According to North Carolina law, all dogs and cats four months old and older must be vaccinated against rabies.
“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,” said Haywood County Health Director Carmine Rocco. “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.”