Mineral reports first positive rabies case for 2021
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Mineral County has had its first confirmed positive rabies case for 2021.
The Mineral County Health Department reports that a raccoon had been submitted for testing and came back positive. The raccoon was located on Old State Road off Headsville Road.
The health department advises everyone to check the rabies vaccination status of all pets and make sure they are vaccinated if they are due.
Those needing to vaccinate their pets will have the first opportunity of the year on Saturday, April 10, when Mineral County Animal Control presents a spring rabies clinic from 9-11 a.m. in the parking lot of Tractor Supply in Keyser.
Fee to have a pet vaccinated is $8 and no county tags will be sold at that time. All cats must be contained and all dogs leashed, and humans must wear a mask.
According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), cats, dogs, raccoons and bats top the list of most tested animals for rabies.
In 2018, the latest data available from the DHHR, 207 cats were tested in the state, 108 dogs, 93 bats and 83 raccoons.
Others tested for the viral disease included skunks, opossums, foxes, and cows.
Of the animals sent away for testing in 2018, 64.5% were sent because of human exposure to a potentially rabid animal, and 14.7% due to domestic animal exposure. The remaining 10.2% were sent away because the animal was exhibiting odd behavior.
The health department urges everyone to be cautious and stay away from any animals acting strangely or aggressively.
For further information, please call the Mineral County Health Department at 304-788-1321.