Enraged raccoon enters home and attacks: North Carolina officials
An enraged raccoon broke into a home in eastern North Carolina, where it carried out an attack, officials said.
A person and their pet were bitten during the encounter, which was reported to the Kinston Police Department this week, according to the Lenoir County Health Department.
The furry intruder was later spotted in Kinston, where Lenoir County officials said he was captured. The raccoon was taken to a state lab and tested positive for rabies.
After the attack, the person inside the house received medical attention. The dog had received his vaccinations, WITN reported.
Now officials in Lenoir County — about 80 miles southeast of Raleigh — are encouraging dog owners to tell their pets about their vaccines and warning the public about the risks of rabid wildlife.
“Rabies is a dangerous disease for humans and animals,” Health Department Director Pamela Brown said in a press release. “Please inform the health department, hospital or your doctor if you have been scratched or bitten by or handled an animal that may be rabid. Please do not approach or touch any animal that may be rabid; call Animal Control at square.
In addition to raccoons, rabies can be found in wild bats, foxes, and skunks. Although the disease is most commonly spread through bites from infected animals, a person can also become infected through scratches or other wounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The rabies virus infects the central nervous system,” the CDC said on its website. “If a person does not receive proper medical care after potential exposure to rabies, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately leading to death. Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical attention after potential exposures before symptoms begin.
People with rabies may experience flu-like symptoms, discomfort or confusion. Health officials say human rabies cases are rare in the United States, typically totaling 1 to 3 each year, based on data through December 2019.
This story was originally published January 27, 2022 8:57 a.m.