Raccoon tests positive for rabies in Galax, VDH confirms

Local News

GALAX, Va. (WFXR) – The Mount Rogers Health District is alerting residents that a raccoon has tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon was collected on Thursday, Sept. 17 at the 200 block of Swanson Street in Galax.

The Mount Rogers Health District says the raccoon most likely fought with a skunk while infected which created a second chain of potential infection in the area.

If exposed, the skunk could develop rabies anytime over a course of many weeks.

The raccoon was said to have been in an advanced state of the illness and may have been infectious but active in the area for over a week.

This is the second case of rabies reported in the area in recent days. The previous case was reported in Staunton and also involved a raccoon.

If you or your pet may have had recent contact with a raccoon in this area, contact the Galax City Health Department at (276) 236-6127, or the Galax Police Department at (276) 236-8102.

Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up-to-date. The Mount Rogers Health Department also says that livestock may also be vaccinated for rabies.

Once symptoms occur, rabies is fatal. All mammals, including humans, can get rabies.

Rabies is 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.

For facts about rabies, click here.

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