Raccoon found in Portsmouth neighborhood tests positive for rabies

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A raccoon recently found in a Portsmouth neighborhood has tested positive for rabies, the Portsmouth Health Department announced Friday.

Health officials say the raccoon was found in the 4100 block of Duke Drive. A domestic dog got into an “altercation” with the raccoon that left the raccoon dead.

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 Portsmouth Health Department at (757) 393-8585.

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

At this time no humans have been identified as being exposed, and the dog is being managed by the Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control and the Environmental Health Team of the Portsmouth Health Department.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease that is carried by mammals.

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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