Public health staff, in partnership with Ashe County Animal Control, are working together to notify the community of two confirmed rabies cases found in skunks. There are no human exposures at this time.

Wild animals may carry rabies so it is best to not try and trap them or take them as pets.

If you are exposed to rabies, notify your healthcare provider for the recommended treatment needed as soon as possible.

The rabies virus is shed through the infected animal’s saliva. If your dog or cat is attacked by a wild animal, contact your vet for necessary treatment and wait until your animal dries completely before handling it. The virus dies when the saliva dries out. Always wear gloves. Once your animal is dry, clean your animal with Dawn or a detergent. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the animal.

“Rabies is a terrible, but preventable viral disease that can be fatal if not treated promptly, and contact with stray animals may put you and your family at risk. It is best to be cautious and avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director.

If you determine there is a stray or aggressive animal in your area, immediately contact the Ashe County Animal Control office. During business hours call (336) 982-4060 and on the weekend or after hours call Dispatch at (336) 846-5600.

Please spay and neuter your pets and keep their rabies vaccination up to date.

For additional information about rabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s website – www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.