As warmer weather approaches, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages North Carolinians to be aware of their surroundings and practice precautions while enjoying the outdoors with family, friends and pets, to prevent the spread of rabies.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, particularly mammals. In North Carolina, raccoons and bats serve as the source for most rabies viruses. These species may infect other animals such as skunks, red and gray foxes, coyotes, groundhogs and beavers. Any animal infected with rabies poses a human health risk. In 2014, more than 350 cases of animal rabies were reported in North Carolina.