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Calf tests positive for rabies

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This is the second rabid animal reported in Carroll in 2012.

HILLSVILLE — A local family and a veterinarian will receive treatment for rabies after being exposed to an infected calf, according to the Mount Rogers Health District.
Lab testing on the cow’s brain, submitted by the Carroll County Health Department, confirmed that the calf had contracted rabies.
The rest of herd remains under observation, health department officials report.
"This is the second animal that has tested positive for rabies in Carroll County in 2012," says Ed Ritterbusch, environmental health supervisor for the district.   "While we normally see less rabies activity in the winter months, we want to remind residents of the continued need for awareness of the constant presence of rabies throughout the year. Rabid animals pose a risk to us, our pets and livestock."
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that attacks the central nervous system.
The virus can be transmitted through saliva, so animal bites should be taken seriously, health officials said. The disease is almost always fatal without the vaccine.
Wash the bite wound immediately, health officials say. Immediately call your physician, local health department or animal control agency.
Vaccinations of pets and livestock will reduce the chances of exposure to rabies, they say. Never approach wild or stray animals.
Do not keep wild animals as pets — enjoy them from a distance, even if they seem friendly. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame.

For more information on rabies, visit the Virginia Department of Health's Rabies Control and Prevention website.