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Raccoon found in Norfolk tests positive for rabies

The city of Norfolk asked anyone who has recently been bitten or scratched by a raccoon near that neighborhood to call the city at 757-683-2712.
Credit: thorsten henning/EyeEm - stock.adobe.com

NORFOLK, Va. — A raccoon found in the Sewells Gardens corner of Norfolk tested positive for rabies.

On Friday, the city of Norfolk asked anyone who has recently been bitten or scratched by a raccoon near that neighborhood to call the city at 757-683-2712.

A Norfolk spokesperson said the sick raccoon was found on Jan. 11 on South Quail Street. It later died, and the Norfolk Department of Public Health sent it to Richmond for testing.

On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services confirmed the animal had rabies.

Rabies is preventable with treatment, but it's extremely fatal when cases go left unattended.

Here are some ways to lower your chances of coming into contact with rabies:

  • Be sure all dogs and cats are up-to-date on vaccinations. 
  • Keep your pets confined to your 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.