NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — A skunk found on Melbourne Street in Naugatuck tested positive for rabies on Wednesday, according to health officials.

The Naugatuck Valley Health District sent out a public health alert on Thursday, warning residents of rabies.

According to health officials, rabies is a fatal disease of warm-blooded mammals caused by a virus that is most frequently spread through a bite from an infected animal.

The health district said there are several ways residents can protect themselves from the virus. This includes making sure your pet gets regular rabies vaccines, keeping pets away from wild animals, spaying or neutering pets and calling animal control if you see stray animals in your neighborhood.

Connecticut law requires that every dog and cat that is 3 months of age or older must have a rabies vaccination. The fine for not vaccinating your pet in Naugatuck is $136.

For more information on what to know about rabies, visit the CDC website.