KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Lenoir County Health Department officials confirmed a sixth case of a raccoon found with rabies has been detected this year.

Health officials said the raccoon was found between Vernon Avenue and the Neuse River, west of Queen Street. The raccoon was killed and testing confirmed the rabies case.

“Rabies is a disease that can lead to severe health consequences in people and animals. It is concerning to have had so many cases in the city and the county,” said Lenoir County Health Director Pamela Brown. “We want everyone to be safe, so please be aware of your surroundings when outside.”

Brown said in a media release to follow these tips to keep yourself safe:

  • Let the Health Department, a hospital, or your doctor know if you have been scratched or bitten by or have handled an animal that could be rabid.
  • Do not approach or touch a wild animal or an animal that could be rabid.
  • Ensure pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations.
  • Keep pets away from stray or wild animals.