March 10, 2023

Media Contact:
Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD)
Environmental Health Division 540-204-9928

Skunk Tests Positive for the Rabies Virus in the City of Salem

SALEM, Va. — The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts would like to notify the residents in the area of Niblick Drive in Salem, that a skunk has tested positive for the rabies virus. The animal was collected on March 4.

Potential exposures to a rabid animal include bites, scratches, or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose, and/or mouth. Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal. Anyone having information regarding any exposure to the skunk in the days leading up to March 4 should contact the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District Environmental Health Division at 540-204-9928 or Salem Animal Control at 540-375-3038.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It is preventable in domestic animals through vaccinations but is fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated.

The health district would like to remind all citizens to follow these three important guidelines:

  1. Ensure your pets and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
  2. Report all exposures to animals (usually bites and scratches) to your doctor and the local health department.
  3. Enjoy wildlife from a distance – do not feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, or foxes to visit your premises.