A raccoon killed in Shenandoah County has tested positive for rabies, the Virginia Department of Health announced in a Thursday news release.
The raccoon, found on June 22, was believed to have been in an altercation with two dogs in a rural area near Stoneburner Road (Va. 681) between Edinburg and Columbia Furnace, the release states. The raccoon was found dead by the dogs’ owners.
“This raccoon no longer poses a threat, and the event occurred in a relatively remote area,” stated Lord Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Colin Greene, “However, it should serve as a reminder that any contact with a raccoon, fox, skunk, or bat that could result in exposure to the animal’s saliva should be considered a potential rabies exposure. This applies to humans and domestic animals, and anyone exposed should receive an immediate medical evaluation.”
The Health Department advises residents to never approach or touch wild animals, especially those behaving oddly or those seen in the daytime. Raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats are the main carriers of rabies in the eastern U.S.
For more information about rabies, call the Shenandoah County Health Department at 540-459-3733 or visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/rabies-control or the Lord Fairfax Health District at www.vdh.virginia.gov/lord-fairfax.