Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department has confirmed the first positive rabies case in southwest Nebraska for the year. The rabies exposure is with a skunk in Perkins County.

“With high occurrences of rabies in the health district in the last few years, we want to notify the public of any positive cases,” Melissa Propp, public health nurse, said in a press release.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, rabies is a medical emergency. Any wounds should be immediately washed with soap and water. They should also receive medical attention from a health care professional. Rabies is a deadly virus infection that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies.

Animals with rabies may act differently from healthy animals. Wild animals may move slowly or may act as if they are tame. A pet that is usually friendly may snap at you or may try to bite.

“Vaccination is the best protection for keeping your pets safe,” Propp said.

For more information call Propp at 308-345-4223.