A skunk was confirmed positive for rabies by the Virginia Department of Health on 3/22/23 on Autumn Lane in Troutville, VA (near Blue Ridge, VA). Botetourt Animal Control collected the skunk on 3/16/23. Please contact the RCAHD Environmental Health Division or the Botetourt Animal Control if you know of any possible human or animal contact with this skunk.
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. Exposure to rabies is considered:
- any time a bite or scratch (or other circumstance) allows the saliva or central nervous system tissue from a potentially rabid animal to enter an open, fresh wound
- when rabid tissue enters a mucous membrane via the eye, mouth, or nose
The Code of Virginia §3.2-6521 requires pet owners to maintain current rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats aged four months and older. Citizens should not approach or touch any wild or stray animals and should report any abnormal animal behavior to their local animal control dispatcher. All animal bites and rabies exposures (from wild and domestic animals) must be reported to the RCAHD Environmental Health Division at 540-204-9764.
To help prevent the spread of rabies, everyone should:
- AVOID contact with wild animals and domestic animals you do not know.
- REPORT unusual-acting animals.
- VACCINATE all of your dogs, cats, and ferrets, and keep their vaccinations current.
- CALL your doctor and the local health department if you are exposed, or your veterinarian and local animal control if your pet is exposed to an animal with rabies.