Health leaders warn of dog that may have rabies in Danville

On Dec. 29, a black and white pit bull mix reportedly bit a woman near 649 Jefferson Street

This undated electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows rabies virions, dark and bullet-shaped, within an infected tissue sample. Five Americans died of rabies in 2021 the largest number in a decade and health officials say some occurred because people didnt realize theyd been infected or refused life-saving shots. (F. A. Murphy/CDC via AP) (F. A. Murphy)

DANVILLE, Va. – Officials are raising rabies concerns after a report in the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District.

The health district issued a notice about a dog that may be positive for rabies located near 649 Jefferson Street in Danville.

On Dec. 29, officials say a black and white pit bull mix reportedly bit a woman in that area. At this time, it’s unknown if the dog has rabies since it cannot be found.

Since the dog’s location is unknown, the health district asks that anyone who has seen or come in contact with the dog call the department at 434-766-9828.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system but can be prevented in animals such as cats, dogs, ferrets and some livestock with a vaccination.

It is mainly present in the saliva and brain tissue or rabid animals, which can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound or in the eye or mouth.

The health district says the disease kills almost any mammal or human that contacts the virus.

Officials say that if you are bitten by a wild or stray animal to not panic. Instead, wash the wounds with warm, soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor or the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District for instructions.

According to the CDC, the first symptoms of rabies are similar to the flu. You may experience weakness, fever or a headache. There may also be discomfort, prickling or itching at the site of the bite if you are bitten.

For more information, click here or call the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District at 434-766-9828.

About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.