VDH issues warning after rabid skunk found in Danville

A stock image of a skunk. (Canva, Canva)

DANVILLE, Va. – The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District is issuing a warning after officials said a skunk tested positive for rabies in the Burnham Woods community of Danville.

Rabies, a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system, is preventable in domestic animals through vaccinations but is fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated.

As a reminder, Virginia law requires that all dogs and cats four months of age and older be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian and that vaccinations be kept current.

VDH provided the following tips to protect against rabies exposure:

  • Do not feed stray animals. Avoid wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks. Feed your pets indoors and do not let them wander.
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up to date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Teach children to avoid contact with wild animals and pets they are not familiar with.
  • Do not handle sick, injured or dead animals.
  • Keep wild animals out of homes by capping chimneys with screens and blocking openings in attics, cellars and porches. Ensure trash cans have tight-fitting lids.
  • If you observe any stray animals in the area, contact the Danville Animal Control for assistance at 434-799-5111. Please do not try to trap or handle stray and wild animals.
  • If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal, do not panic. Wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor or the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District for further recommendations.

The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District asks anyone who may have come into contact with the skunk to call the health district at 434-433-3545.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.