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Unusual Incident Sparks Shenandoah Rabies Warning

16 August 2019 Shenandoah County News


The Lord Fairfax Health District has issued a rabies warning after an unusual incident in Shenandoah County.

On August 11, 2019, a groundhog was found behaving aggressively near Indian Camp Trail in Black Bear Subdivision, near Maurertown in Shenandoah County. Such behavior is extremely uncommon in groundhogs, and subsequent testing showed that the animal had been rabid. Lord Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Colin Greene said Thursday (8/15/2019) that the incident “should serve as a reminder that any contact with a medium-to-large wild mammal that could result in exposure to the animal’s saliva should be considered a potential rabies exposure.” He went on to say that “the key in this case was the abnormal aggressive behavior of an animal that would normally run from a human; such behavior is typical of an animal in the late stages of rabies.”

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