After two rabid animals turned up in the Herndon, Virginia, area within a mile of each other and within a 30-day period, the Fairfax County Health Department wants to get the word out.
On Aug. 16, a groundhog was killed on Brofferton Court; on Sept. 13, a raccoon was killed on Pinecrest Road. Both animals were killed by dogs on their owner’s property.
Both dogs had already been vaccinated for rabies, and after catching the animals, they were given booster shots. The dogs will be kept at home for 45 days to ensure they don’t have the disease.
“Be aware that we have rabies in our wildlife population throughout Fairfax County,” said Ben Klekamp, epidemiology manager with the county’s health department.
He is urging people to stay away from wild animals.
“If you see a, say, raccoon walking down the street during the middle of the day, don’t approach it. Make sure that you call the animal protection police, and they will come and collect that animal and maybe test it for rabies,” Klekamp said.
If you live in the immediate area where the two rabid animals were found, and you think you or your pet came in contact with one, you’re asked to call the health department.
“We would then help assess if they needed to go get medical care to protect them from getting rabies,” Klekamp said.