PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- The Portsmouth Health Department wants to alert residents in the area between Portsmouth Boulevard and Arcadia Avenue that a raccoon has tested positive for the rabies virus.

Animal Control was called out to the neighborhood on the evening of May 13 for a report of an injured raccoon that was acting lethargic. On Thursday, the Health Department received test results that showed the raccoon had rabies.

At this time, no humans or domestic animals have been identified as being exposed.

Anyone who had exposure to a wild animal bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound, eyes, nose or mouth should call the Portsmouth Department of Public Health at (757) 393-8585. Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal.

Report any stray animals to the Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control at (757) 393-8430.

Rabies is a fatal, but preventable disease that is carried by mammals. Officials would like to remind citizens of some important rabies prevention tips:

  • Vaccinate your pets.
  • Report all exposures to animals (usually bites or scratches) to your doctor and the local health department.
  • Enjoy wildlife from a distance -- don't feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks or foxes to visit your premises.