2 raccoons found in Newport News test positive for rabies

Posted at 1:25 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 14:15:22-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Two raccoons tested positive for rabies in Newport News, the Peninsula Health District said.

One raccoon was found in the area of Maney Drive and Bellwood Road area of the city, where the raccoon was encountered by a person in the street after they left a private property in the area.

The second raccoon was found in the 800 block of Balthrope Road, where it encountered a domestic dog on private property.

Rabies is highly preventable if a vaccine is given early and as recommended. Unfortunately, without preventive treatment, by the time someone develops symptoms of rabies, there is no cure and the disease is fatal in almost all of the cases.

Anyone with information regarding any exposure to the raccoon, whether a bite, a scratch or contact with its saliva, is asked to call the Environmental Health Office of the Peninsula Health Department at (757) 594-7340.

Here are some tips to prevent rabies:

  • Vaccinate your pets.
  • Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously.
  • Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, cats and dogs.
  • Ensure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. Please consult your veterinarian, Suffolk Animal Control, or the Suffolk Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations.
  • Confine your pets to your property.
  • Securely seal garbage containers with lids.

State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of four months receive the rabies vaccination.