Southwest, central Virginia health districts raise awareness regarding rabies

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(WFXR) — Health districts around southwest and central Virginia want to help educate and raise awareness regarding rabies.

Each year, the Central Virginia Health District says it receives more than 800 reports about people who are bitten by animals, with the majority of those animals being cats and dogs.

Health officials say they also receive reports of domestic animals being bitten by wild animals, which leads to the euthanization of some domestic animals that are not vaccinated against rabies.

As a way to raise awareness, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) partners with the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) to hold Rabies Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 3.

Officials urge people to check on to make sure their animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations in order to protect the animals and people from rabies.

For more information about rabies awareness and the impact on pets, click here.

Meanwhile, the VVMA says the USDA will be distributing Oral Rabies Vaccine baits from low-flying aircraft in October to control the raccoon variant rabies among wildlife. The association says that pets will occasionally find and eat the vaccine baits, but if pet owners have any concerns, they should contact their veterinarians.

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