Fort Bragg Pest Management recently captured a rabies positive raccoon on the installation, according to officials.
“As far as we know right now, there have been no exposures. If you came into contact with it, please let us know,” said Capt. Jeremy Lewis, Fort Bragg installation veterinarian.
A Soldier noticed a strangely-acting raccoon during the duty day out near the 44th Medical Brigade and alerted the appropriate authorities.
It is important for the community to be aware of rabies signs and report any potential cases to the Fort Bragg Veterinary Center or Military Police. Never attempt to capture an animal suspected of having rabies.
There are two forms of the rabies disease — furious and dumb, according to Lewis. In the furious stage, animals will display more aggressive behavior where they may try to bite or snap at people and other animals.
“Dumb is a later stage where the animal has some issues with their brain and are kind of blindly walking around,” Lewis said.
Rabid animals may be out at times of the day when they are not normally active, like a raccoon wandering around in the middle of the day. Some animals with rabies will hypersalivate and foam at the mouth, or be unable to stand very well, explained Lewis.
The main animals that transmit rabies in the United States include bats, coyotes, raccoons, foxes and skunks.
Members of the community who come across a potentially rabid animal during the work day should contact the Fort Bragg Vet Center at 396-9120. At all other times, call 911 to report the animal to the Fort Bragg MP.
Anyone bitten by an unfamiliar animal should visit their nearest emergency room immediately.
“This is the primary place where they are going to receive treatment for rabies,” Lewis said.
The ER will generate a bite report, which is sent to preventative medicine nurses and the Fort Bragg Vet Center for further evaluation.
(Editor’s Note: Additional information for this article came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, as well as from an article about rabies printed in the June 15 edition of the Paraglide.)