Poquoson health officials searching for possible bite victim after rabid raccoon confirmed

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 11:34:38-05

POQUOSON, Va. – A raccoon spotted in the 300 block of Little Florida Road in Poquoson has tested positive for rabies, and officials with the Peninsula Health District are looking for someone who may have been bitten.

Health officials are trying to find a man who was driving a blue truck in the area round 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14. Witnesses say the man may have been bitten while trying to get the raccoon out of the road. The man then got back in the truck and left the scene.

Officials need the public’s help to find the man as soon as possible so they can get him checked out.

“We don’t know who this person may be, so they could be from anywhere in Hampton Roads,” said a release from the Virginia Department of Health, which also stated that there is “urgency at hand” in locating him.

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

Anyone who has information about who the man may be or knowledge of any other potential exposure to this animal – including a bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose or mouth – is asked to call any of the below contacts:

  • Gary Hagy, Environmental Health Manager, Peninsula Health District – (757) 645-7110
  • Lois Gary, Public Information Contact, Peninsula Health District – (757) 594-7305
  • Peninsula Health District – Newport News Environmental Health Office – (757) 594-7340
  • After hours: Animal Control, Newport News/Poquoson Animal Control – (757) 595-7387

Rabies is a fatal, but preventable disease that is carried by mammals and has been present in the wild animal population on the Peninsula since the mid-1980s. The district is reminding 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. Enjoy wildlife from a distance – do not feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks or foxes to visit your premises.

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