NORFOLK, Va. – A raccoon that was found in a Norfolk neighborhood earlier this month has tested positive for rabies, health officials say.
The juvenile raccoon was picked up along the 200 block of Talbot Hall Road in the Talbot Park neighborhood on July 12.
Health officials say the raccoon showed neurological symptoms on July 18 and was later euthanized before being sent to the Virginia Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond for testing.
The lab reported that the raccoon had tested positive for rabies on July 24.
If you have been bitten or scratched by a raccoon in this area, you are asked to contact the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.
It is important to note that in the event of any exposure, all animal bites and scratches should be reported to the local health department. Rabies is a fatal disease but preventable if treatment is begun early and completed as recommended by a medical provider.
All exposure incidents in Norfolk should be reported to the Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712 or Norfolk Animal Control at 757-664-7387.
Health officials recommend taking the following precautions to reduce the risk of being exposed to the disease:
- Be sure dogs and cats are up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Keep pets confined to home and yard.
- Keep yards free of food that could attract wild animals.
- Do not handle, touch or take in stray or wild animals.
- Warn adults and children to report any animal bites or scratches.
- Report stray or unvaccinated animals to Animal Control at 757-664-7387.
- Report all animal or human exposures to the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.
For further information, please contact the Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.