Raccoon tests positive for rabies

LISBON — The Columbiana County Health Department reported a raccoon in western Columbiana County tested positive for rabies. The health department is reminding residents that it is important to vaccinate their animals to protect them from rabies.

The raccoon was found southwest of Salem and was picked up as part of surveillance activities performed by the USDA Wildlife Services. There were no known human exposures from this animal.

Since pet dogs and cats that roam and hunt can come into contact with rabid animals and potentially transmit the disease to people, it is very important to make sure all dogs and cats are up-to-date on their rabies vaccination which is required by law.

It is easy to prevent rabies by taking the following precautions:

*Avoid contact with wild animals, sick or injured animals, and animals you don’t know.

*Food and nesting or hiding places for wild animals should be eliminated from residential areas.

*Pet vaccinations should be kept current and pets should not be permitted to roam.

If you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal or a pet, The Columbiana County Health Department recommends the following guidelines:

*Wash all wounds and contact areas thoroughly with soap and water.

*Contact your physician immediately for evaluation.

*Call the Columbiana County Health Department immediately to report the incident; provide them with an accurate description of the animal.

*Try to keep the animal confined, but don’t risk further injury if the animal is dangerous or get the name and address of the animal’s owner.

*Keep children away from all animals involved in the incident.

For more information, contact the Columbiana County Health Department at (330) 424-0272.