CHESAPEAKE, Va. – A raccoon has tested positive for rabies, the Chesapeake Health Department said.
The raccoon was located hiding under the deck of a home in the 4000 block of Ridgewood Court in Chesapeake on October 1.
Exposure of humans to rabies happens when saliva of an infected animal gets in a body through an open wound or mucous membrane, such as with an animal bite.
“An animal exposure is a serious medical event, for which prompt evaluation and complete treatment is critical. Rabies is highly preventable if vaccine is given early and as recommended. Unfortunately, without preventive treatment, by the time someone develops symptoms of rabies, there is no cure and the disease is fatal in almost 100% of cases”, said Dr. Nancy Welch, MD, health director for the Chesapeake Health Department.
The disease is also fatal in infected domestic dogs and cats that have not been vaccinated, the Health Department said.
These are the recommendations from the Health Director:
- If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, check for injuries and contact the Chesapeake Animal Control at (757) 382-8080 or the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8672.
- Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously.
- Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, cats and dogs.
- Ensure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. Consult your veterinarian or the Chesapeake Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations.
- Confine your pets to your property.
- Securely seal garbage containers with lids.