NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A raccoon that tested positive for rabies was found in the Newport News area around Tyler Avenue and Morrison Avenue, according to the Peninsula Health District.
The raccoon was found after it encountered a dog behind a baseball field in the area.
Anyone having information regarding any exposure to this animal (bite, scratch, or contact with saliva by open wound, eyes, nose, or mouth) is asked to contact the Environmental Health Office of the Peninsula Health department at (757) 594-7340. Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal. After hours, please contact local Animal Control, Newport News/Poquoson Animal Control: 595-7387.
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.
Environmental Health Services will be contacting the immediate neighbors as well as any civic or homeowner’s association that serves the community.
The District would like to remind all citizens to follow these four important rabies prevention guidelines:
1. Vaccinate your pets.
2. Report all exposures to animals (usually bites and scratches) to your doctor and the local health department.
3. Enjoy wildlife from a distance – don’t feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks or foxes to visit your premises.
4. Do not feed your pets outside, leave trash uncovered, or try to handle any wild or feral animals you may feel are sick or injured.