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Raccoon found in Woodards Mill neighborhood of Chesapeake positive for rabies

The raccoon was located on Oct. 4 in someone's backyard.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from July 2021.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said a raccoon recently found in the Woodards Mill neighborhood of Chesapeake has tested positive for rabies.

According to the department, the raccoon was located on Oct. 4 in someone's backyard.

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 Virginia state law requires all dogs and cats older than four months to be vaccinated against rabies.