Raccoon tests positive for rabies virus in Henderson Co.

HENDERSON COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – A raccoon that was reportedly involved in a fight with pet cat in Henderson County, N.C. and then shot by the pet’s owner on Sunday has tested positive for rabies.

According to a release from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health confirmed the rabies virus on Tuesday, making this the first positive rabies case in Henderson County in 2018.

After the incident Sunday, both the raccoon and the cat were taken to Animal Services, and the raccoon was then sent to the state lab.

The cat had reportedly not had the rabies vaccine and will be euthanized and sent to the lab to be tested for rabies.

According to the release, officials believe the cat and/or raccoon may have been around other pets or wild animals in the area, and are asking people who live in the area near the intersection of St. Paul’s and Beehive Road in Edneyville to be on the lookout for any unusual behaviors or sickness with their pets or wildlife.

Deputies will also be posting flyers and contacting people living within a mile of that intersection.

Additionally, anyone who may have had contact with an unfamiliar pet or wild animal recently should also call a Communicable Disease Nurse with the Department of Public Health at 828-694-6019 immediately.

According to the release, if you think your pet has been exposed or have questions, call the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Enforcement Division at 697-4911.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Animal Enforcement Division and the Department of Public Health are asking people to make sure their pet’s rabies vaccinations are current and to call a veterinarian if your pet exhibits unusual behavior.

For more information, visit hendersoncountync.org/health and click on Communicable Disease link.