A skunk in the northwest part of Cape Girardeau County tested positive for rabies, according to a news release Thursday from the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center.
There has been no known human or animal exposure to the rabid animal, and the release cautioned people to be aware of wild animals as temperatures warm and they spend more time outside.
Common carriers of rabies include skunks, bats, and stray cats and dogs.
Four other rabid animals have been detected in the state this year -- all in Southeast Missouri, including a horse in Wayne County.
Anyone bitten by an animal, particularly a stray dog or cat or wild animal, should wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes.
If possible, without further injury, they should try to capture or confine the biting animal so it can be quarantined and tested for the rabies virus.
They should contact their physician to see if medical care is needed, and to have a rabies risk assessment.
Pet owners can protect their cats and dogs from rabid animals with a rabies vaccination.