Third rabid animal reported in Galax in less than a month, health officials warn

New River Valley News

GALAX, Va. (WFXR) — Health officials issued a warning to the community on Thursday after the third rabid animal was reported inside a one-mile-radius of Galax within less than a month.

According to the Mount Rogers Health District, a lethargic and staggering raccoon was reported in a resident’s yard between Petty Road and Hampton Heights on Monday, Feb. 15. That raccoon ended up testing positive for rabies, health officials say.

This news comes after the health district reported a rabid gray fox attacking an animal control officer in the 900 block of West Stuart Drive on Jan. 27, as well as a rabid raccoon fighting with two dogs on Russell Lane in southeast Galax on Feb. 1.

Galax residents in the area are asked to be alert and vigilant, avoiding any contact with wild mammals or unknown domestic animals.

If you know of any person or mammal pets that may have come in recent contact with a raccoon in this area of Galax, you are asked to contact the Galax City Health Department at (276) 236-6127 or the Galax Police Department at (276) 236-8101.

“Remember, rabies is fatal once the symptoms appear,” the Mount Rogers Health District said in a Facebook post on Thursday, Feb. 18. “All mammals (including humans) can get rabies. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by a bite, but also may be transmitted by saliva or brain tissue of a rabid animal coming into contact with eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds.”

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