Peninsula health officials search for those who rescued rabid raccoon

Posted at 11:44 AM, Feb 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-07 11:44:00-05

James City Co., Va. – The Peninsula Health District has announced that a raccoon found in the Forge Road area of James City County has tested positive for rabies. They are now searching for individuals who may have come into contact with that animal.

On Sunday, February 3, individuals found the raccoon alive in the road. Officials say they took the raccoon to the James City Fire Station # 1 in Toano. The raccoon later died and was submitted for testing.

The Health Department is asking for assistance in locating the individuals that picked the animal up from the road.

It is important to have these individuals contact the Peninsula Health District concerning their contact with the rabid raccoon, officials say.

Anyone having information regarding any exposure to this animal is asked to contact the Health Department at the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health Office, (757)603-4277.

Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal.

After normal business hours, please contact local Animal Control, Newport News/Poquoson Animal Control: 595-7387; York County Animal Control: 890-3601; James City County/Williamsburg Animal Control: 253-1800.

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.

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 would like to remind all citizens to follow these three 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. Don’t feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, or foxes to visit your premises.