Health officials need to find this woman they say dropped off a rabid raccoon

NORFOLK — A sick raccoon collected here has tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon was turned over by a resident on July 10 to a wildlife rehabilitator who works for Evelyn’s Wildlife Refuge.

The animal became progressively sicker over the next week and was euthanized, according to a news release from the city.

Officials said at this time, no animal-to-human exposures are known to be associated with this raccoon; however representatives from the Norfolk Department of Public Health want to talk with the woman who dropped off the raccoon to assess potential risk of exposure.

The woman is reported to be a Norfolk resident and drives a green Kia Soul. If you are this individual, contact Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.

It is important to note that, in the event of any exposure, all animal bites and scratches should be reported to local health departments.

“Rabies is a deadly virus and area residents are reminded not to handle, touch, or take in stray or wild animals,” said Norman Grefe, senior environmental health manager.

Incidents occurring in Norfolk should be reported to the Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712 or Norfolk Animal Control at 757-664-7387.

The following precautions are recommended to reduce the risk of rabies exposure:

  • Be sure dogs and cats are up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • Keep pets confined to home and yard.
  • Keep yards free of food that could attract wild animals.
  • Do not handle, touch or take in stray or wild animals.
  • Warn adults and children to report any animal bites or scratches.
  • Report stray or unvaccinated animals to Animal Control at 757-664-7387.
  • Report all animal or human exposures to the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.

For information, contact the Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.