Gaston County Reports Its 5th Case of Rabies So Far This Year

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If you live in or around Gaston County, please keep an extra close eye on small pets and children when outside – the county has just confirmed their 5th positive case of rabies so far this year (compared to 5 confirmed cases in all of 2020).

According to a press release from Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement, “on Wednesday, August 19, 2021 at 1:13 pm, Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement answered a call for service in the 400 Block of Woodlawn Avenue in Gastonia, NC. The caller advised a dog, which had been brought to the residence as a stray, attacked and killed a raccoon in the backyard of the property…the raccoon specimen tested positive for rabies”.

The case was discovered just south of downtown Gastonia:

The CDC lists the following signs and symptoms of rabies on their website:

“The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. These symptoms may last for days.

There may be also discomfort or a prickling or itching sensation at the site of the bite, progressing within days to acute symptoms of cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia. The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive. To date less than 20 cases of human survival from clinical rabies have been documented, and only a few survivors had no history of pre- or postexposure prophylaxis.

The signs, symptoms, and outcome of rabies in animals can vary, but are often similar to those in humans, including early nonspecific symptoms, acute neurologic symptoms, and ultimately death.”

If you witness any animals behaving irradicably or unusually in Gaston County, please call Animal Care and Enforcement Division at 704-922-8677.

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