Raccoon tests positive for rabies after being killed by dog in Newport News

Posted at 3:02 PM, Mar 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-14 15:14:15-04

Newport News, Va. – A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Newport News, according to the Peninsula Health District.

Residents in the Maxwell Lane area of Newport News have been notified that a raccoon tested positive for the rabies virus.

The raccoon was killed by a dog. The raccoon was tested for the rabies virus and found to be positive.

Anyone having information regarding any exposure to this animal (bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose, mouth) is asked to contact the 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 at (757) 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 1980’s. 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 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 do anything that may attract wild animals to your property.