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Published March 31, 2010, 08:48 PM

At Least 15 People In Contact With Sick Dog To Be Tested For Rabies

A dog brought to the Grand Forks Circle of Friends Humane Society has tested positive for rabies. Even though the dogs never bit anyone, the health department says 13 to 15 people will need to be treated for rabies, which includes series of shots.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

On March 9th two strays were brought to the Circle of Friends Humane Society in Grand Forks. The smaller dog Cookie is pictured here with the larger dog named Bingo. The larger dog was euthanized after he was deemed unadoptable. On the 20th Cookie went to a foster family until it became sick, and began shaking.

Arlette Moen / Circle of Friends Humane Society Director: "Once the symptoms began the gentleman called up brought the dog back on the 27th. The dog was taken directly to the vet. The veterinarian said the dog should be euthanized and sent to NDSU for testing."

The test came back positive for rabies yesterday. Shelter volunteers and employees that had contact with a dog are being screened.

Don Shields / Grand Forks County Health Department: "We screened all 32 people some had no risk or low risk, and some had a lot of contact with open cuts that we would worry about."

Even though the dogs never bit anyone, the health department says 13 to 15 people will need to be treated for rabies, which includes series of shots.

Don Shields / Grand Forks County Health Department: "If they licked a kid in the face, or the mouth or say you had a cut on your hand they were licking your hand I would be worried about the saliva containing the rabies virus, they could get into your body."

Shields says some members of the family that fostered the dog will likely have to get shots. At the humane society as a precaution the dog room has been close for observation, but workers say the two dogs did not have contact with other dogs at the shelter.

Anyone who may have been bitten or otherwise exposed to the saliva of either of these dogs at the Circle of Friends Humane Society from March 15 through March 20 should call the Grand Forks Public Health Department at 701.787.8100 or the North Dakota Department of Health at 800.472.2180.

The virus causes swelling of the brain and is almost always fatal. Rabies can be prevented by giving people rabies vaccine after exposures.

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