February 24, 2023
Linda Scarborough, Western Region PIO, email@example.com
Mount Rogers Health District Confirms Two Cases of Animal Rabies
DUGSPUR, Va. – In order to protect the health of residents and visitors, the Carroll County Health Department is issuing a notice about two skunks that have tested positive for rabies in the Hunters Ridge Road area of Dugspur.
On February 22, a skunk on the 300 block of Hunters Ridge Road entered a pen with a dog and the resident and displayed suspicious behavior. The skunk was collected and tested positive for rabies. The next day, a second skunk was observed displaying unusual behavior in the same vicinity. This animal was tested today and received a positive result for rabies as well.
The Carroll County Health Department asks anyone who may have come into contact with a skunk in this area to contact the health department at (276) 730-3180 or contact the area sheriff’s office.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Rabies can be prevented in cats, dogs, ferrets and some livestock with a rabies vaccination. Rabies kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain tissue of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound or in the eye or mouth.
Steps to Prevent the Spread of Rabies:
To protect pets and their owners from rabies, Virginia law requires that all dogs and cats four months of age and older be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian, and that vaccinations be kept current.
The Carroll County Health Department is reminding the public to avoid contact with bats, feral cats, stray dogs and wild animals, particularly in the area where the skunk was found. See additional precautions below.
Additional Steps to Protect Against Rabies Exposure:
- Do not feed stray animals. Avoid wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks. Feed your pets indoors and do not let them wander.
- Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up to date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.
- Teach children to avoid contact with wild animals and pets they are not familiar with.
- Do not handle sick, injured or dead animals.
- Keep wild animals out of homes by capping chimneys with screens and blocking openings in attics, cellars and porches. Ensure trash cans have tight fitting lids.
- If you observe any stray animals in the area, contact the Carroll County Health Department for assistance at 276-730-3180. Please do not try to trap or handle stray and wild animals.
- If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal, do not panic. Wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor or the Carroll County Health Department for further recommendations.
For additional information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/animal-contact-human-health/ or call the Carroll County Health Department at (276) 730-3180.