‘This raccoon most likely fought with a skunk while infectious’: Health officials say rabies-positive raccoon discovered in Galax

Virginia

GALAX, Va. (WJHL) – The Mount Rogers Health District has issued an alert after a rabies-positive raccoon was collected in the city of Galax.

According to the health district’s Facebook page, “a sick raccoon was collected from the 200 block area of Swanson Street” on September 17th.

Health officials wrote that the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

Any mammal, including humans, can get rabies. While it’s mostly spread via a bite, it can also be transmitted if saliva or brain tissue of a rabies-positive animal comes into contact with eyes, mucous membranes or open wounds.

“This raccoon most likely fought with a skunk while infectious, creating a second chain of potential infection in the area,” the post reads. “If exposed, the skunk could develop rabies anytime over a course of many weeks.”

The post also states the raccoon was “in an advanced disease state.”

The Mount Rogers Health District said that any person or mammal with recent contact with a raccoon in the Galax area should contact the Galax City Health Department at (276) 236-6127.

“Remember, rabies is fatal once symptoms appear,” the health district wrote.

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