HURDLE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) — Orange County Animal Services has received a positive rabies test, according to the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

The case originated Thursday, when a resident reported a skunk interacting aggressively with livestock in Hurdle Mills, the agency said.

How is possible exposure to rabies handled?

PEOPLE: When needed, a Communicable Disease Nurse from the Orange County Health Department evaluates the risk of rabies exposure to humans. A decision about the post-exposure prophylaxis that protects people from rabies is based upon an assessment of all the factors involved in the situation.

PETS: When there is “a reasonable suspicion of exposure,” a dog, cat, or ferret with a valid rabies vaccination history must receive a booster shot within 96 hours (4 days). By contrast, an unvaccinated cat or dog must either be euthanized or quarantined for a period up to four (4) months (or six (6) months for a ferret).

LIVESTOCK: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services is contacted about any livestock that may have exposure to rabies.
Please make sure your pets are current on their rabies vaccinations. It is important for the health of your family and your pets. Rabies is a fatal viral infection. Your veterinarian is the best source of information on vaccinations for your pet. For more rabies information, you may review the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention.

In North Carolina and other areas, rabies is commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs, and beavers. If an incident involving a bat — or other rabies vector, such as a raccoon or skunk – should occur outside regular hours of service, an Animal Control Officer should be reached right away through Emergency Communications (9-1-1).

For any general concerns or questions about wildlife that do not involve exposure to rabies, Animal Services recommends contacting the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. For more information, visit the Orange County Animal Services website or call 919-942-7387.