By News Desk  @bactiman63

A little over a week ago in North Carolina, Alamance County Animal Control was notified of a skunk that bit a dog on Fernway Drive. Alamance County Animal Control sent the skunk to the North Carolina State Laboratory for Public Health for rabies testing and the skunk was positive for rabies.

Image/Collins John, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Because the dog was not up-to-date on vaccinations, it was initially quarantined; it has since been euthanized. The Health Department did not identify any human exposure to the skunk.

The skunk was the county’s first rabies case of 2021.

Health officials encourages the public to examine them for any wounds that may have come from contact with this dog and notify Alamance County Animal Control, 336-570-6302, or the Health Department’s Environmental Health office at (336) 570-6367 if you have questions or concerns.

It is North Carolina law that cats and dogs be vaccinated against rabies. The first vaccination should occur when the dog or cat is no more than 4 months of age; the second vaccination is required no more than a year later and then again every three years.

If you are bitten by any animal:

  • Wash the wound with soap and running water for ten (10) minutes and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Write down the location of the animal and a description of the animal to provide to animal control.  If the animal is someone’s pet, also get the owner’s name and address.  Give this information to animal control or the health department.
  • Do not try to catch any wild or stray animal

Last year, Alamance County had three confirmed animal cases of rabies.