TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WVNS) — A rabid bobcat has been found in Tazewell County, according to officials.
Officials with the Virginia Department of Health said the bobcat was found back in February in the Hogback area of Thompson Valley in Tazewell County. They said this is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Tazewell County and in the Cumberland Plateau Health District in 2018.
The bobcat was reportedly acting aggresively near a home and was shot by the homeowner who then called authorities.
The health department is asking people in the area who may have come in contact or have pets or livestock that may have come in contact with any other suspicious animal to contact the Tazewell County Health Department at 276-988-5585 or Tazewell County Animal Control at 276-988-1160.
The department wants remind everyone that rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It is almost always fatal, unless preventive treatment is administered before symptoms develop.
In addition to vaccination, the Cumberland Plateau Health District strongly advises that people take these steps to protect family members and pets from rabies:
• Avoid contact with wild animals or stray cats and dogs;
• Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs;
• Report stray animals to your local animal control agency;
• Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home; and
• Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.