Raccoon tests positive for rabies; MCHD urges to take precautions

A raccoon collected Monday in the National area of Monongalia County has tested positive for rabies.
Monongalia County Health Department officials received confirmation Thursday and made the announcement Friday.
MCHD urges everyone to avoid animals they do not know, including raccoons and bats. These are wild animals that can carry rabies. This warning applies year-round but is especially true during warmer weather months. Area residents also can take precautions to help keep raccoons and other pests out of their homes and away from their properties.
Also, pet owners who have not gotten their dogs and cats vaccinated for rabies should do so.
This is the first confirmed case of rabies in Monongalia County in 2018, but the area has had rabies before and residents should be on alert.
Although they may look harmless, raccoons can be a nuisance and, in some cases, downright dangerous. This is especially true if they are infected with rabies, a viral disease found in mammals that attacks the nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov). It is transmitted via saliva through a bite or scratch.

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