It seems we heard of more and more rabies cases this summer, but are the numbers up? We decided to find the answer.
It was this past June when Kelly Dillon Hodges was bitten by a fox while at home in Franklin County. The fox bit her leg and would not let go. "The harder I got on him the harder he got on me. Eventually I guess he just lost his breath and I got myself free and I was running to the house," Hodges said.
"I was hitting him in the head with a shoe trying to get him out the door," Hodges said. Hodges underwent treatment which includes a series of shots to protect from rabies.
"It happens. Unfortunately it happens," said Robert Parker with the Virginia Department of Health. In fact the attack in Franklin County didn't surprise him. "It's important for citizens to understand that rabies is a risk pretty much anywhere you go in Virginia, pretty much anytime," Parker said.
Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system. It's fatal if not treated. Virginia sees roughly 600 to 700 cases every year. Parker said while that number fluctuates from year to year, he said there is no long term increase in cases. "Numbers are remaining steady," Parker said.
To protect your pets, get them vaccinated. "Age four months and older get that vaccination and keep it current," Parker said. "Vaccination is not a one time thing."
To protect yourself, stay away from wild animals even if they seem tame.
"Any wild animal that's that approachable or a nocturnal animal that's abroad in the daytime or or an aminal that's staggering seems to have balance problems." Parker said. "These are indications that an animal is not well."
Drive Through Rabies Clinic Saturday July 28
Here is the press release on the July 28 Rabies Clinic Scheduled in Brookneal Area for this Saturday.
RUSTBURG, VA - Campbell County, in cooperation with Halifax County, is offering a drive-through rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, July 28, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in the town of Brookneal at Dodd’s Farm Supply (1103 Lynchburg Ave). Service lines will form in the large parking lot, south of the farm supply building. Volunteers will direct traffic on-site and funnel vehicles to specific stations to complete paperwork. Citizens will then be directed to payment tents, before veterinarians administer vaccinations to pets (while still in the vehicles). Those attending are asked to keep animals secured and in vehicles at all times.
Rabies vaccines will be administered at a cost of $5.00 each. Staff will strive to accommodate citizens as quickly as possible, however, only those in line prior to
12:00 p.m. will be served.
The first rabies shot is effective for one (1) year. Subsequent rabies vaccinations given close to the expiration date are good for three years. If an animal has had a previous rabies vaccination, please bring the former certificate for proof; this will expedite completion of the new certificate. Citizens are required to present a current rabies certificate to the Treasurer of Campbell County to purchase a dog license, thus it is important to save a copy of the certification. Envelopes will be provided on-site in which to place payment and a copy of rabies certification for an animal license. These envelopes will be delivered by staff to the Treasurer of Campbell County on Monday, July 30; licenses and certificates of vaccination will then be mailed accordingly.
For additional information, residents may contact the Campbell County Animal Care and Control Facility at (434) 821-4416