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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dead raccoon test positive for rabies in Pittsylvania County - 28th Sept 2011

The Danville-Pittsylvania Health Department issued a rabies alert last week for residents in the Medical Center Road area in Axton.

A raccoon found dead by a resident there recently tested positive for rabies, said Kelly Waller, technical specialist for environmental health with the department.

Health department officials are asking residents to observe unvaccinated dogs and other pets for the next 45 days for signs and symptoms of rabies, including a change in behavior, excitability, irritability, staggering or biting.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that lives in an infected animal’s saliva and brain and nerve tissue. It is transmitted through a scratch, bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in an open wound or in the eye or mouth.

Rabies is preventable in animals through vaccinations, but fatal to animals and humans once it’s contracted.

The rabid raccoon could have come in contact with other animals in the neighborhood, including cats, dogs or horses, Waller said.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets with no known exposure to a potentially rabid animal should be vaccinated against the disease immediately, the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District recommends. Virginia law requires pet owners to keep their pets current on rabies vaccinations for animals four months or older.

Citizens should not approach or touch wild animals, and should report abnormal behavior involving wild animals. Read More