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Two raccoons test positive for rabies in Onslow County

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SNEADS FERRY, Onslow County - A pair of raccoons have tested positive for rabies in Onslow County, prompting County health officials to send out a public alert.

Two raccoons - one in March and one earlier this month - tested positive for rabies, according to the North Carolina State Laboratory.

The raccoon captured in March was found in the Sneads Ferry area. Earlier this month, one human and two dogs were exposed to a rabid raccoon in the Midway Park area near Piney Green and NC 24. Both the dogs were vaccinated for rabies, and remain under observation.

Onslow County Health Department Director Angela Lee said the human exposed to rabies was taken to Onslow Memorial Hospital and given the vaccine.

"Rabies is a deadly disease, so people that have been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal should see a doctor," Lee said. "It is critical to get treatment quickly because people can be protected from rabies if they receive a series of vaccines soon after the exposure. We urge people to let the Health Department, Animal Services, the hospital, or their doctor know if they have been scratched or bitten by an animal that could be rabid."

Preventative vaccinations are the key for pets, Onslow County Animal Services Director Howard Martin said.

"Vaccinating pets and staying away from wild animals are the best ways to prevent being exposed to rabies," he said. "People should not approach a suspected animal themselves; the risk is too great."

Onslow County Animal Services offers a rabies clinic for pets every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. at 244 Georgetown Road in Jacksonville. No appointment is necessary, and the cost of the vaccine is $10 per pet.

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