Rabid dog found in Union County

Union County health officials say a dog found in the northeast part of the county has tested positive for rabies.

The brown and white female Husky, found in the area of Mullis Newsome Road and New Salem Road, died Saturday, according to the Union County Division of Public Health.

Officials with the health agency and the Union County Sheriff’s Office are distributing fliers to nearby homes to identify people and pets who may have been exposed to the rabid dog. They’re asking anyone who may have come in contact with the dog between March 8 and Thursday to call their doctor immediately, or call the health department at 704-296-4874 for an exposure evaluation.

“Once an exposure has occurred prompt treatment is essential,” county public health Director Phillip Tarte said in a statement. “Rabies is fatal without this treatment.”

Residents worried about their pets’ possible exposure to the virus should contact their vet, or call Union County animal control at 704-283-2308.

The virus is usually transmitted through a bite from the infected animal or from contact with saliva that enters the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin. Rabies is most common in raccoons, skunks and foxes.

Here are some tips from the health department:

▪ Vaccinate your pets regularly according to North Carolina law.

▪ Keep children and pets away from wild and strange animals.

▪ Don’t allow pets to run at large.

▪ If your pet comes in contact with wild or strange animal, avoid contact with both animals.

▪ Make sure trash can lids are on tightly and pet food is not left outside.

▪ For any animal bite, the wound should be cleaned thoroughly, for at least 10 minutes.

Smith: 704-358-5087