A black and white mixed pit bull dog that bit a woman on Jefferson Street in Danville last week could have rabies, Pittsylvania-Danville Health District reports.
The December 29 incident occurred in the 649 Jefferson Street area. The dog was not found and it is not clear whether the animal is rabies, a press release said Friday night.
Anyone who has seen or come into contact with the dog should call the health department at 434-766-9828.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system, the press release said, and vaccination can prevent it in cats, dogs, ferrets, and some farm animals.
The disease kills almost any mammal or human who gets it. The virus is mainly found in the saliva and brain tissue of rabid animals and can be transmitted through a bite or by introducing saliva or brain tissue into a wound or in the eye or mouth.
Virginia law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian at least 4 months of age. These vaccinations are also kept up to date.
Health officials are reminding residents to avoid contact with bats, feral cats, stray dogs, and wildlife, especially in the area where the dog bite occurred.
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