This month, the Tucker County Health Department (TCHD) received notification of two raccoons testing positive for rabies.
On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the TCHD was notified that a raccoon that had been submitted for rabies testing, had tested positive. The raccoon was tested due to a bite encounter with a dog.
On Thursday, March 30, 2023, US Fish and Wildlife confirmed that a raccoon that was collected in the Hendricks area had tested positive for rabies.
These positive rabies cases are a reminder that rabies is still here, and active. Rabies is a serious viral infection of the central nervous system. The virus is usually passed to humans through the bite of a rabid animal. Occasionally, rabies can be transmitted if the saliva of an infected animal gets into a fresh scratch, break in the skin, or contact with mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose).
In West Virginia, most cases of rabies occur in wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks. If you are bitten or scratched by a rabid or possibly rabid animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water and immediately consult a physician.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your dogs and cats from rabies is to have them vaccinated for rabies. State Code requires that all persons who own, obtain, or possess a dog or cat within the State of West Virginia shall have the dog or cat properly vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for three years. Pets should have a rabies booster one year after the initial vaccination and every third year thereafter.