Charleston, WV -- The rabies virus is 100
percent preventable through education and vaccination. The West Virginia
Department of Agriculture (WVDA), along with the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human
Services (WVDHHR), have teamed up to get the message out. Thursday, September
28, is World Rabies Day.
"Not only is it important to vaccinate our animals, it's
imperative that we educate our children about the dangers infected animals
pose," said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. "Whether it's
our family pets or farm animals, we all need to be aware of the signs and
symptoms of the rabies virus."
Last year, West Virginia recorded 19 confirmed cases of the
virus. Animals such as bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons are often the
identified carriers. However, the virus can be spread to domesticated animals
such as cats, dogs, cattle and horses if not properly vaccinated. Physicians
and veterinarians are urging adults to educate themselves and their children
about rabies. A short video, developed by the American Veterinary Medical
Association, highlights what you need to know about the disease at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkTg4U3CekE.
For additional information on rabies education, contact the WVDA
at (304)-558-2214 or Dr. Vanessa Harper, USDA/APHIS, at (304)-703-8362.
Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922