Someone’s pet was exposed to a rabid raccoon on Friday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
On Friday, a raccoon found in Staunton, Virginia, was submitted for rabies testing after a suspected encounter with a pet.
The raccoon tested positive for rabies and while it no longer poses a threat, any person or animal that may have been exposed to the raccoon’s saliva would be considered a potential exposure and should receive medical evaluation.
Rabies is deadly to animals and humans once symptoms begin, but can be prevented in humans if they receive vaccine and medication soon after exposure.
VDH has this advice to help prevent the spread of rabies:
- Never approach a wild animal, especially a raccoon, fox, skunk or bat, especially if the animal is behaving oddly or seen in the daylight. These animals are the main carriers of rabies in the Eastern U.S.
- Avoid stray cats and dogs, which may also carry rabies and report any bites or scratches to your physician or the health department.
- Vaccinate your dogs, cats and ferrets and keep their vaccinations up to date.
- Do not feed wild animals or strays. Eliminate outdoor food sources.
- Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash