NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Department of Public Health reported Monday that a raccoon found in the Forest Park neighborhood tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was captured in the 1200 block of Sheppard Avenue on November 16 and sent to the Virginia Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond for testing. It tested positive for rabies the next day.
If you have recently been bitten or scratched by a raccoon in this area, officials are asking that you contact Norfolk Public Health at (757) 683-2712 immediately.
Rabies is preventable if a vaccine is given early and as recommended. Dee Franklin, Environmental Health Supervisor with Norfolk Public Health, said it’s important that all animal bites should be reported to local health departments immediately in the event of any exposure. Incidents that happen in Norfolk should be reported to the Environmental Health Division, Norfolk Public Health at (757) 683-2712 or Norfolk Animal Control at (757) 664-7387.
The Norfolk Department of Public Health suggests the following precautions be taken to reduce rabies exposure:
- Warn adults and children not to approach or feed animals not belonging to them and to report any animal bites or scratches.
- Do not handle or touch stray or wild animals.
- Be sure dogs and cats are up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Keep pets confined to the home and yard.
- Keep yards free of food that could attract wild animals.
- Report stray or unvaccinated animals to Animal Control at (757) 664-7387.
- Report all animal or human exposures to the Norfolk Department of Public Health at (757) 683-2712.