MARCH 2, 2022- Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) remind residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of people or pets contracting rabies following a recent confirmed exposure.

Late last week, a kitten found along 5th Avenue in Richmond’s Northside was dropped off to the Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC). Results from a rabies test were received yesterday evening and confirmed the kitten had rabies. RHHD is in contact with the twelve individuals who had contact with the kitten to determine if an exposure took place and advise possible medical follow up.

RHHD recommends everyone, particularly those who live in the near vicinity of the incident, to take the following steps to prevent future rabies exposures:

  • Don’t attract wild animals into your yard by leaving out pet food or uncontained garbage

  • Vaccinate all cats, dogs, ferrets, and livestock against rabies and keep their shots up to date

  • Don’t allow pets to roam freely through the neighborhood; keep them on a leash when walking them

  • Report stray animals to your local animal control agency

Rabies can be deadly; it is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is in the saliva of rabid animals and can be transmitted through a bite or by getting infected saliva in the eyes, mucous tissue, or an open wound. If you or your pet are attacked or bitten, report it to the health department or animal control authorities. If possible (without danger or risk), restrain the animal so that it can be tested, or get a good description of the animal that you can provide to authorities. If you are bitten, promptly seek medical attention.

For more information on rabies prevention, visit the VDH website.

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