JAMES CITY CO., Va. – A raccoon tested positive for rabies in the area of Powhatan Secondary and Stylers Mill Crossing in James City County, the Peninsula Health District announced Thursday.
Anyone who has any information regarding exposure to the animal – whether via bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose or mouth – is asked to call the health department at (757) 603-4277. Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal.
Rabies is a fatal, but preventable disease that is carried by mammals and has been in the wild animal population on the Peninsula since the mid-1980s.
The district is reminding residents to follow four important rabies prevention guidelines:
- Vaccinate your pets
- Report all exposures to animals (usually bites and scratches) to your doctor and the local health department
- Enjoy wildlife from a distance – don’t feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks or foxes to visit your premises
- Do not feed your pets outside, leave trash uncovered or do anything that may attract wild animals to your property
A fox recently tested positive for rabies at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, a dead raccoon tested positive in another Virginia Beach neighborhood this week, and two other rabid raccoons were reported in other parts of Virginia Beach in late July, according to the Virginia Beach Health Department.
Since rabies is a neurological disease, health experts say you should never approach an animal that is acting funny or staggering; you will always want to call Animal Control.
After hours, please contact the James City Animal Control at (757) 253-1800.