NDDoH is seeking information on exposure to puppy with rabies

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Categories: Healthy Living Immunization Infectious Disease

NDDoH is seeking information on exposure to puppy with rabies

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is working with the South Dakota Department of Health in seeking individuals possibly exposed to a rabid puppy or the puppy’s littermates.

On August 29, a puppy tested positive for rabies in South Dakota.  Very little is known about the puppy, but it last resided in Agency Village, South Dakota.  Limited information available is indicating that this puppy had at least three littermates that have been adopted by individuals  who are unknown.

“Our concern is that the littermates have been exposed to rabies and may develop rabies and expose their new owners,” said Alicia Torfin, epidemiologist with the NDDoH.  “It’s possible that some of the new owners may be North Dakota residents.”

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system.  It is almost always fatal for animals and people.  People who are exposed to rabies need to begin a series of rabies vaccinations as soon as possible after the exposure. 

The following recommendations can reduce the risk of rabies to people:

  • Routinely vaccinating pets
  • Avoiding contact with wild animals
  • Washing bite wounds thoroughly with soap and water
  • Beginning the series of rabies vaccinations as soon as possible after an exposure

Anybody who may have information regarding the whereabouts of these puppies should call the NDDoH at 800-472-2180 or 701-328-2378.  For more information on rabies, visit https://www.ndhealth.gov/disease/rabies/.

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