The Orange County Animal Services Department says a goat at a small family farm contracted rabies, exposing at least three people to the virus.
The incident is the fifth reported case of rabies in Orange County this year.
The county says the case originated on April 22, when a two-month-old goat belonging to a small family farm in northern Orange County, passed away. The animal was subsequently sent to the State Laboratory for rabies testing.
The goat began showing signs of illness at the end of March, and several family members and one neighbor began taking turns bottle feeding the sick animal.
A Communicable Disease Nurse from the Orange County Health Department has been in contact with the family to discuss post-exposure prophylaxis that protects people from rabies. At least three people who had contact with the goat have begun treatment.
A veterinarian from the Department of Agriculture has placed the remaining six goats under a six-month quarantine for observation.
In North Carolina, livestock exhibited as part of a petting zoo or in a setting where there will be contact with the public are required to be vaccinated against rabies.