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Rabies Cases Confirmed

Five cases of rabies in The Herald’s coverage area have been confirmed since January — with the latest report in mid-June, according to newly released data.

Three rabid animals have been confirmed in Buckingham, one in Cumberland and one in Prince Edward, according to Ed Dunn, the environmental health manager for the Virginia Department of Health’s Piedmont Health District. The rabid animals were foxes and skunks, he said.

The animals were reported on Chellowe and Bell roads and Pembleton Lane in Buckingham, on Ampthill Road in Cumberland and on Dogwood Lane in Farmville.

Dunn said nine animals have tested positive this year in the district, which includes Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties.

That number is average for this time of year in the district. “Rabies is [an] endemic in Virginia and we usually have around 20 rabid animals annually,” he said.

“Understanding the serious nature of rabies and being vigilant in preventing it are critical to safeguarding both human and animal health,” Dunn said.

The health department strongly advises taking steps to protect families and pets from being exposed to rabies, such as vaccinating pets, avoiding contact with stray animals, not feeding wild animals, reporting strays, eliminating outdoor food sources and keeping pets confined to owners’ property.