Testing at the State Lab in Raleigh confirms the animal did have rabies, and that the raccoon came in contact with a family and their pets.
"We don't want to alarm residents in Apex, but they should be aware of these cases and of the potential for exposure to themselves, family members and their pets," said Sue Lynn Ledford, Community Health director for Wake County.
Officials said one of the family's pets was not vaccinated for rabies. State law requires potentially rabid pets to be put down, unless the owners agree to quarantine for six months.
"All pets are required by law to receive the rabies vaccination," Wake Environmental Services Director Joseph Threadcraft said. "Many people believe that inside pets do not need to be vaccinated for rabies, and that is not the case. Vaccinating your pets is critical in helping prevent the spread of disease."
Animal Control officers say they are concerned about possible exposure of unvaccinated pets in the Apex area. Anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner is urged to call Wake County Animal Control.
Officials are urging residents to not approach animals that they do not know, do not feed stray or unknown animals, do not leave trash or food outside - unless it is in a trash can with a tight-fitting lid, and if a pet comes in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact a veterinarian immediately.
To report animal complaints and stray animals: in Wake County (except Cary, Garner, Holly Springs and Raleigh), call (919) 212-PETS (7387).
Residents in Cary should call (919) 319-4517, Garner residents should call (919)772-8896, Holly Springs residents should call (919) 557-9111 and residents in Raleigh should call (919) 831-6311.
For more tips, go to www.wakegov.com/pets/health/rabies.