Rabid coyote found near Bahama in Durham County

Thursday, December 14, 2017
images-image source: Wikimedia Commons

BAHAMA, North Carolina -- A rabid coyote was discovered in a rural area of Bahama in Durham County, according to the State Laboratory of Public Health.

This is the county's sixth animal rabies case of 2017.

No known human contact has been identified.

"Coyotes can be found in suburban and rural areas throughout North Carolina. While in most cases, the coyotes are harmless, people should not approach, feed, or handle wildlife," said Dr. Arlene Seña, medical director, Durham County Department of Public Health. "Therefore, residents should remember to maintain and update their pet's vaccination records and to notify us immediately if they encounter a wild or domestic animal behaving erratically. Supervise pets while they are outside or have a fenced yard if possible."

Public Health works with the Animal Services division of the Durham County Sheriff's Office and the Animal Protection Society (APS) of Durham to investigate suspected cases of rabies in animals and potential rabies exposures in humans.

In animals, common symptoms of rabies may include decreased energy and appetite, and vomiting. Signs progress within days to weakness, seizures, difficulty breathing and swallowing, excessive salivation, aggression, and ultimately death.

Exposure to wild animals is the primary way people, domestic animals, and livestock contract rabies. Rabid raccoons, foxes, skunks, and coyotes typically show no fear of people, may appear with uncoordinated movements, and be active during the day despite their typical nature to be more active at dusk. In urban areas, they may attack domestic pets.

For more information about rabies, call 919-560-7896 or click here. Pet owners with questions about vaccination requirements should contact Durham County Animal Services at 919-560-0900.