CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A raccoon found by a dog in the Upton Farms/Coventry neighborhood of Great Bridge East Chesapeake has tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was found in a backyard on Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Health wrote in a news release.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system.
Rabies can affect humans and pets. It is transmitted through bites, saliva and brain tissue.
All animals bites or scratches should be immediately reported to the Chesapeake Department of Health at 757-382-8672.
“An animal exposure is a serious medical event, for which prompt evaluation is critical. A prompt assessment will lead to timely response which may include observation or testing of an animal, and when necessary, rabies vaccinations. Rabies is highly preventable if vaccine is given early and as recommended. Unfortunately, without preventive treatment, by the time someone develops symptoms of rabies, there is no cure and the disease is fatal in almost 100% of cases,” said Nancy Welch, MD, health director for the Chesapeake Health Department.
Rabies can be prevented in dogs and cats by keeping them up to date on their vaccinations.
For more information on rabies, contact the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8672 or Animal Control at (757) 382-8080 or log onto Virginia Department of Health’s website or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.