In springtime, a young man’s fancy turns toward, well, you know; however, in spring the Guilford County Division of Public Health turns its fancy to, among other things, keeping county residents safe from rabies.

On Tuesday, May 21, the division sent out an alert to Guilford County residents noting that two new cases of animal rabies had been recorded: a skunk on Willard Dairy Road in High Point and a raccoon on Filmore Road in Greensboro.

Both animals tested positive for the virus this week, making them the seventh and eighth confirmed cases of animal rabies in the county this year.

The alert sent out by county health officials also had this message for animal owners: ”North Carolina law requires that all domestic pets (cats, dogs, and ferrets), whether living inside or outside, aged four months or older, be vaccinated for rabies. Animals that are confined in outdoor fenced areas should also have current rabies vaccinations. Supervising pets when they are outdoors could prevent contact with wild animals and lessen the possibility of rabies exposure.”

Rabies circulates through the wildlife population the entire year but, when the weather turns warmer, more residents start getting outdoors and going places that make them more likely to encounter wild animals.

 Here are some tips the county provided help prevent you or your family members from getting rabies:

  • Avoid direct contact with wildlife, dead or alive. Don’t approach, try to play with, touch, rescue or treat any wildlife. If you find a sick or injured animal, call Animal Control at 336-641-5990.
  • Avoid any animal displaying unnatural behavior. Wild animals aren’t usually friendly so be very careful if they approach you.
  • Do not try to separate fighting animals.
  • Feed your pets indoors. Leaving food outside the home will attract dogs, cats and wildlife to your yard.
  • Report all stray animals to Animal Control. Call 336-641-5990 in Greensboro and 336-883-3224 in High Point. Stray animals may not have current rabies vaccinations.
  • Do this if bitten. 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.

If you have questions about rabies prevention, you can contact Guilford County Animal Services at 336-641-2506 or visit www.guilfordcountync.gov/our-county/animal-services.