Raccoon Tests Positive for Rabies in Galax

September 18, 2020

Media Contact: Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager, Breanne.forbes-hubbard@vdh.virginia.gov, 276-759-8297

Raccoon Tests Positive for Rabies in Galax

(Marion, Va.) – Mount Rogers Health District is alerting residents of Galax that a sick raccoon, collected on September 17, 2020, tested positive for rabies. The raccoon was collected from the 200 block area of Swanson Street in Galax.

This raccoon most likely fought with a skunk while infectious, creating a second chain of potential infection in the area. If exposed, the skunk could develop rabies anytime over a course of many weeks. The raccoon was in an advanced disease state, and may have been infectious but active in the area for over a week.

If any person or mammal pets may have had recent contact with a raccoon in this area, please contact the Galax City Health Department at (276)-236-6127 or contact the Galax Police Department. Please make sure to keep your pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date. Livestock may also be vaccinated for rabies.

Remember, rabies is fatal once the symptoms appear. All mammals (including humans) can get rabies. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by a bite, but also may be transmitted by saliva or brain tissue of a rabid animal coming into contact with eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds.

For more information, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/rabies/.

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