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September 21, 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 confirmed that a skunk collected September 19, 2011 from the Sweetbrier Ln. area of the Burke’s Garden community and a bat collected the same day from the Middle Creek area of Cedar Bluff tested positive for rabies infection. Seven cases of animal rabies – including these two - have now been confirmed in Tazewell County this year.

According to Brian Stanley, environmental health manager for the Cumberland Plateau Health District (Virginia Department of Health), the bat entered a resident’s home and landed on the arm of the resident, resulting in a possible bite. The resident collected the bat and notified the local health department. The skunk was believed to have been killed by a resident’s dogs, which had current rabies vaccinations. No known human exposures related to this skunk have been reported; however, the dogs are currently under observation and may not have to be euthanized if no signs and symptoms of rabies develop.

The Virginia Department of Health asks residents in these areas who know or suspect any exposures of people or pets to these or any other suspected rabid animals to immediately notify the Tazewell County Health Department at 276-988-5585 or the Tazewell County Animal Control Office at 276-988-4160.

The Cumberland Plateau Health District strongly advises that people take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies:

  • Vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies and keep them up to date!
  • Avoid contact with wild animals or stray cats and dogs.
  • Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs.
  • Report stray animals to your local animal control agency.
  • Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home.
  • Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.

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: 10-20-2011

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