DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District (PDHD) has issued a notice for the Burnham Woods community after a skunk tested positive for rabies.

As a result, the health district is reminding the community to avoid any contact with bats, feral cats, stray dogs, and wild animals.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The disease can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound, or in the eye or mouth.

Officials are advising all pet owners to get their dogs and cats vaccinated for rabies and to stay up-to-date on all vaccinations.

PDHD says the following steps can also prevent exposure:

  • Do not feed stray animals. Avoid wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks. Feed your pets indoors and do not let them wander.
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up to date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Teach children to avoid contact with wild animals and pets they are not familiar with.
  • Do not handle sick, injured or dead animals.
  • Keep wild animals out of homes by capping chimneys with screens and blocking openings in attics, cellars and porches. Ensure trash cans have tight fitting lids.
  • If you observe any stray animals in the area, contact the Danville Animal Control for assistance at 434-799-5111. Please do not try to trap or handle stray and wild animals.
  • If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal, do not panic. Wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor or the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District for further recommendations.

The health district is asking anyone who may have come in contact with the skunk to call 434-433-3545.