March 10, 2015
(Richmond, Va.) – The Henrico Health Department has received confirmation that the remains of a raccoon collected on March 7, 2015 in Henrico County tested positive for rabies infection.
A citizen was attacked by a raccoon while walking in Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The raccoon ran out of the woods near the path where they were walking and began to scratch and claw their leg. The raccoon then began to bite the person’s leg and the citizen was able to dispatch the raccoon. The individual is undergoing post-exposure treatment which includes receiving the rabies vaccine. Post-exposure vaccination is extremely effective in preventing rabies.
The Virginia Department of Health asks any resident in this area who may have been exposed or has pets that may have been exposed to this rabid raccoon to immediately notify the Henrico Health Department at 804-501-4529 or the Henrico County Animal Control Office at 804-501-5000.
Rabies is a fatal disease. It can be prevented with vaccination, but once symptoms begin, it is rarely cured. To report any other suspicious animal please contact the Henrico Health Department at 804-501-4529 or the Henrico County Animal Control Office at 804-501-5000.
The Henrico 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.
- If you see ill or injured wildlife, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for advice on how to proceed.
For more information concerning rabies, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s Rabies Control and Prevention web site at www.vdh.virginia.gov/epi/rabies, or call the Henrico Health Department at 804-501-4529.