STAUNTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Health is warning residents in the City of Staunton after a raccoon tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was collected from the Vinson Street area and submitted for testing after a suspected encounter with a pet.
While the raccoon no longer poses a threat, the VDH says any human or animal that may have been exposed to its saliva is considered a potential exposure and should receive medical evaluation.
If you have been bitten, scratched or licked by the raccoon or any animal that may have been in contact with it, seek medical attention. Rabies can be prevented in humans if the vaccine and medication is administered soon after exposure. Once symptoms begin, rabies is fatal.
If any wild animal bites or interacts with a domestic animal, contact your local health department and animal control, and have the animal evaluated by a vet.
The VDH wants to remind people to never approach wild animals, especially a raccoon, fox, skunk or bat, and especially if it is behaving oddly or is seen in the daytime. You should also avoid stray cats and dogs; do not feed them or wild animals. Keep pets safe by walking them on a leash and confining them to your property.
For more information, click here.