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Officials express caution after rabies case surfaces

Updated: Monday, May 19 2014, 06:48 PM EDT

WHEELING, W.Va. - Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department officials are warning people to avoid contact with raccoons after a wild raccoon recently tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon found along a road in Triadelphia is the first confirmed animal rabies case in Ohio County for 2014.
 "The key is to stay away from it, especially in the daytime hours, but that can also hold true in the evening as well," administrator Howard Gamble said. "So stay away from the wildlife, they're cute from a distance but don't get any closer."
Health officials say you should also avoid leaving a lot of garbage out.
"When you have, especially in the city of Wheeling there's ordinances  for when you put out your garbage and that's for several reasons," Gamble said. "One is to control the litter but also is to prevent animals whether it's raccoon, deer, whatever it is, getting in the garbage and causing problems. Especially for raccoons, if we leave it out early whether in the city or within the county it's a food source."
While this is the first official case, more rabies cases are expected to pop up throughout the year.
"The week we had the positive case there were two other counties in the state that picked up positives that same week," Gamble said.
Officials say if you have animals, make sure they get their rabies vaccination, especially pet dogs and cats.

Officials express caution after rabies case surfaces

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