Two cases tested positive in the West End on Tuesday this week, and a third case tested positive in Eastern Henrico on Wednesday. This brings the number of rabies cases for 2013 to a total of eleven. There were seven raccoons, three bats and a skunk.
Of the two cases testing positive for rabies in the West End, one was a raccoon caught in the 3000 Block of Oaken Walk Place. The other was a raccoon killed by two dogs in the 7600 Block of Hillside Avenue. Both dogs will be quarantined for 45 days
The third case occurred on the 4200 block of Darbytown Road. A woman and her dog were being chased by a skunk. The skunk was killed and the carcass sent for testing.
If any resident sees wildlife behaving in an abnormal manner, stay away from the animal and call the Henrico Police non-emergency Communications Center at (804) 501-5000.
According to the CDC, rabies is a viral disease infecting the central nervous system, causing acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. In wildlife, the animals most commonly infected with the virus are raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes. Dogs that have not received the rabies vaccine are also susceptible to getting the disease.
Rabies causes about 55,000 human deaths annually worldwide. Almost 95 percent of humans contracting rabies get the virus from infected dogs. In the United States, animal control and vaccinations have eliminated pet dogs as reservoirs of the disease.