Health Department confirms fourth rabies case
Less than a week after a rabid skunk was killed in Lobelia, lab results confirmed that another rabid skunk was found in Edray last Thursday, said county sanitarian David Henderson.
The confirmation would make the fourth case of rabies in Pocahontas County, according to state Bureau of Public Health records, but Henderson said he was not aware of the two earlier cases the BPH has listed.
In any case, Henderson said two rabid animals found in such a short time and at such a distance apart show that rabies is currently widespread in the county.
ﾓItﾒs all around us, too,ﾔ he said, referring to the high number of cases in neighboring counties.
Pendleton County has led the state and neighboring counties with 16 reported cases this year. Greenbrier County has had seven cases, according to sanitarian Bonnie Morgan. The BPHﾒs records show that no cases have yet been reported in Randolph, Webster and Nicholas counties.
Statewide, 75 cases were reported between January and August.
Henderson again emphasized the importance of making sure pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
In the case of the skunk found in Lobelia, a dog was placed under a 90-day quarantine after getting hold of the infected animal.ﾠﾠﾠ
In West Virginia, nocturnal species like skunks, raccoons and foxes tend to be prime candidates for rabies infections, said Henderson. Bats can also carry the virus. While these animals do sometimes come out during the day, people should be cautious if such an animal appears to be unusually aggressive or tame or if the animal is drooling excessively.