Rabid raccoon found in Williamsburg neighborhood, health district says

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – A raccoon recently found in a Williamsburg neighborhood has tested positive for rabies, the Peninsula Health District announced Thursday.

Health officials say the raccoon was found in the area of The Palisades. A domestic dog encountered the animal on private property.

Anyone who has information about possible exposure to the raccoon – whether a bite, a scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose or mouth – is asked to contact the Williamsburg area Environmental health office of the Peninsula Health Department at (757) 603-4277.

Exposure also includes direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal.

After hours, you are asked to contact James City County Animal Control at (757) 565-0370.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease that is carried by mammals. It has been in the wild animal population on the Peninsula since the mid-1980s.

The local office of Environmental Health Services will be contacting the immediate neighbors as well as any civic or homeowner’s association that serves the community.

The district is reminding people to follow these 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.

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