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March 17, 2011

For More Information Contact

  • Brian Stanley, environmental health manager, Cumberland Plateau Health District, (276) 889-7621


(TAZEWELL, Va.) – The Tazewell County Health Department has received confirmation that a raccoon collected March 15, 2011 from the Elizabeth Road area of the Gratton community tested positive for rabies infection. This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Tazewell County this year. Eight animals were confirmed with rabies in Tazewell County in 2010. 

According to Brian Stanley, environmental health manager for the Cumberland Plateau Health District, the raccoon attacked a resident’s dog. The raccoon was killed and submitted for rabies testing due to the potential, now confirmed, that the dog was exposed to the raccoon’s rabies. No known human exposures are reported to this rabid raccoon.

“The good news in this case is the dog’s rabies vaccination is current,” said Stanley. “After the required period of observation that can be done at the owner’s home, as long as there is no sign of rabies, then the dog can be fully released back to the owner,” he said. Stanley said in too many of these cases, the animals involved aren’t vaccinated and frequently have to be euthanized to protect humans and other unexposed animal.

Any resident in this area who may have been exposed or has pets that may have been exposed to this rabid raccoon should immediately notify the Tazewell County Health Department at (276) 988-5585 or the Tazewell County Animal Control Office at (276) 988-4160.

Rabies is a fatal disease. It can be prevented with vaccination, but once symptoms begin, it cannot be cured. To report any other suspicious animal please contact the Tazewell County Health Department at (276) 988-5585 or the Tazewell County Animal Control Office at (276) 988-4160.

For more information concerning rabies, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s Rabies Control and Prevention web site at or call the Tazewell County Health Department at (276) 988-5585.


Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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