Positive Rabies Case Reported In Ohio County

Health officials said a raccoon in the Triadelphia area tested positive for rabies on Tuesday.

Howard Gamble, administrator of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, said it is the second laboratory-confirmed animal rabies case in Ohio County this year. He warned people to avoid contact with any wild animals, including bats and raccoons, and to be wary of animals acting strangely or aggressively.

The health department also reminds residents to keep their pet’s vaccinations up to date. Rabies is a virus capable of infecting warm-blooded animals.

County health departments in West Virginia, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services test animals for rabies throughout the year.

Rabies mainly affects the brain. The disease, which is common in wildlife in North America, is usually spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal.

The virus is transmitted through saliva. If left untreated, rabies can be fatal.

The health department urges residents not to ground feed wild animals (including deer) especially in residential areas. Residents should control and secure residential garbage waste in and around homes and businesses. For more information, call the health department at 304-234-3682 or visit its website at www.ohiocounty health.com.