Public Health Alert: Confirmed Rabies Case in Watauga County

Last Updated on December 7, 2018 5:16 pm

[Boone, NC] – The public health staff, in partnership with Watauga County Animal Control are working together to notify the community in and around the Crystal Mountain community in Watauga County of a single confirmed rabies case. This particular case involved contact with a stray kitten that has resulted in suspected rabies exposure to those who had direct contact during the time period of November 17 through 25, 2018.

County officials are working to ensure that anyone who may have been exposed to rabies get immediate guidance from the local public health communicable disease staff so they can get the recommended treatment needed as soon as possible.

The rabies virus is shed through the infected animal’s saliva. If your dog or cat is attacked by a raccoon or wild animal, wait until your animal dries completely before handling it. The virus dies when the saliva dries out. Always wear gloves. Once your animal is dry, clean your animal with Dawn or a detergent. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the animal.

“Rabies is a terrible, but preventable viral disease that is fatal if not treated promptly, and contact with stray animals may put you and your family at risk. It is best to be cautious and avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director.

If you see a stray, sick, or aggressive raccoon or other animal in your area, immediately contact the Watauga County Animal Control office at (828) 262-1672.

Please spay and neuter your pets and keep their rabies vaccination up to date.

For additional information about rabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s website –

For additional information about AppHealthCare or other community resources and health related data, please call our offices, Alleghany (336) 372-5641, Ashe (336) 246-9449, Watauga (828) 264-4995 or visit our website at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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