Newport News raccoon tests positive for rabies

Posted at 2:42 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 14:42:54-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Peninsula Health District reports that a raccoon in the Newport News area tested positive for the rabies virus.

Health officials say that an injured baby raccoon was found in the Parker Avenue and Winder Crescent area on May 21.

It was taken to a rehabilitation facility where its health progressed well until June 29, when it began exhibiting neurological symptoms. It was then put down and tested for rabies.

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.

Health officials advise 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 Environmental Health office of the Peninsula Health Department at (757) 594-7340.

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

During after hours, please contact the Newport News Animal Control at (757) 595-7387.

Health officials 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