Posts Tagged ‘Rabies in Virginia’

       Today marks the beginning of Rabies Awareness Week around the globe.  You may be wondering “Who in the developed world isn’t already aware of Rabies – a deadly zoonotic disease that can be passed from animals to humans and from humans to humans?” 

     Certainly by now, many of us are well-informed on what Rabies is (a virus found in mammals only) and what it does (attacks the nervous system, leading to death.)  But do you know what’s going on in your own backyard?  I did some research here and put together the facts:

Rabies Cases in 2010
Chesapeake…………….1 raccoon
Norfolk
…………………….1 cat, 4 raccoons
Portsmouth…………….1 fox, 1 raccoon
Suffolk
……………………..2 foxes, 1 raccoon, 1 skunk
Virginia Beach
……….1 bat, 2 foxes, 6 raccoons

Rabies Cases in 2011 (through Sept. 10th)
Chesapeake……………..1 fox, 1 raccoon
Norfolk
……………………..1 fox, 1 raccoon
Portsmouth
……………..1 fox, 1 raccoon
Suffolk
………………………2 cats, 6 foxes, 1 raccoon, 1 skunk
Virginia Beach
………..2 foxes, 3 raccoons

     As you can see, Suffolk and Virginia Beach have racked up some scary numbers for the past two years in a row.  And consider this – these numbers represent only actual documented cases.  In other words, there are more animals that have the disease, but are never caught and counted.

     Quick tips:

  • Keep your pet’s Rabies vaccination up-to-date.  Even indoor pets need protection – and don’t forget your ferret.
  • Do not allow your pet to chase wild animals or chew on carcasses.
  • Keep pets on-leash during walks, to lessen the chance they will chase wildlife.
  • Do not attempt to rehabilitate sick or injured wildlife. 
  • Contact your local animal control office if you believe an animal is acting strangely.

Tomorrow:  What to do if you’ve been bitten

    

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