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Raccoon found in Chesapeake confirmed to have rabies

The Virginia Department of Health said the raccoon was located in someone's backyard on Monday.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Editor's Note: The above video originally aired 9/2/21

The Virginia Department of Health said a rabid raccoon was recently found in the Jolliff Woods neighborhood of Chesapeake.

The VDH said the raccoon was located in someone's backyard on Monday, September 27. The Chesapeake Health Department confirmed the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

According to VDH, rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It can be transmitted through a bite or getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound, eye, nose, or mouth.

Officials said rabies is rare in currently vaccinated animals and highly preventable in people. They offered some recommendations to avoid getting rabies:

  • If your pet and/or livestock has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, check for injuries and contact the Chesapeake Animal Control at (757) 382-8080.
  • Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment.
  • Do not approach wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, or skunks.
  • Bring stray domestic animals, especially if they appear ill or injured, to the attention of local animal control authorities. If you think a stray animal needs help, contact your local animal control office for guidance.
  • Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date.
  • Confine your pets and livestock to your property.
  • Securely seal garbage containers with lids.

VDH also wants to remind people that state law requires all dogs and cats older than four months to be vaccinated against rabies.

Author's note: The video above is on file from April 2019.

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