July 31, 2013

(PETERSBURG, Va.) – The Crater Health District has received confirmation that a raccoon collected July 26, 2013 from the Branchester Lakes subdivision in Prince George tested positive for rabies infection.

The Crater Health District asks any resident in this area who may have been exposed or has pets that may have been exposed to any wild animal to immediately notify the Prince George County Health Department at 804-733-2630, Prince George County Police Department at 804-733-2773, or Prince George County Sheriff’s Department at 804-733-2690.

The Crater Health District reports that citizens being bitten or scratched by cats and dogs in the district this year have doubled compared to this same time last year.  According to Tim Jones Environmental Health Manager of the Crater Health District, “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 Prince George County Police Department at 804-733-2773.

The 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 www.vdh.virginia.gov/epi/rabies, or call the Crater Health District at 804-863-1652.