GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first case of animal rabies of the year in the county.

The Division of Public Health says that a skunk found on Carmon Road in Gibsonville tested positive for the rabies virus on Wednesday.

North Carolina mandates that all domestic pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) aged four months or older must be vaccinated for rabies.

Guilford County HHS provided the following steps to prevent rabies exposure:

  • Avoid direct contact with wildlife, dead or alive.
    • Do not approach, try to play with, touch, rescue or treat any wildlife. If you find a sick or injured animal, contact Animal Control at 336-641-5990.
  • Avoid any animal displaying unnatural behavior.
    • Wild animals are not usually friendly so be very careful if they approach you.
  • Do not try to separate fighting animals.
  • Feed your pets indoors.
    • Leaving food outside will attract dogs, cats, and other wildlife into your yard.
  • Report all stray animals to Animal Control at (336) 641-5990 in Greensboro and (336) 883-3224 in High Point. Stray animals may not have current rabies vaccinations
  • If a person is bitten by an animal (domestic or stray), wash the bitten area immediately with soap and water, seek medical attention, and report the bite to local Animal Control Officers.