PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Portsmouth Health Department reports that a raccoon tested positive for the rabies virus.
On October 23, Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control responded to a residence on Plover Drive where the callers stated that a raccoon had gotten into an altercation with their two dogs and was killed.
On October 28, the Portsmouth Health Department received results that the raccoon tested positive for the rabies virus by the Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services.
At this time, health officials say no humans have been identified as being exposed and the dogs are being taken care of by the Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control and the Environmental Health Team of the Portsmouth Health Department.
The Health Department strongly advises that Portsmouth residents and visitors take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies:
1. ELIMINATE OUTDOOR FOOD SOURCES AROUND THE HOME:
A. Do not feed stray dogs or cats, or any wild animal.
B. Garbage containers should be securely sealed with lids.
C. After feeding pets, bring leftover food inside or dispose of it properly.
D. Bird food should be placed in a bird feeder inaccessible to wild animals.
E. Food stored in outbuildings (barns, open garages) should be inaccessible to animals.
2. AVOID CONTACT BETWEEN YOURSELF (OR YOUR PETS) AND WILD ANIMALS OR STRAY DOGS AND CATS: A. Report any stray animals to the Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control at 393-8430 and avoid contact with this animal. If contact occurs between any wild animal and you or your pet, contact the Portsmouth Department of Public Health at 393-8585 ext. 8585. It is imperative that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Call your veterinarian to examine your pet for wounds and administer a booster rabies shot.
B. Keep dogs and cats confined to your property. Animals that are allowed to roam are more prone to come into contact with wild animals such as foxes and raccoons.
3. VACCINATE ALL PETS AGAINST RABIES, IT’S THE LAW!