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Peninsula authorities seek man potentially bitten by raccoon

An urgent effort is being made throughout the region to find a man who may have been bitten by a rabid raccoon in Poquoson earlier this month.

“We don’t know who this person may be, so they could be from anywhere in Hampton Roads,” Virginia Department of Health spokesman Larry Hill stated in an email.

The press release from the Virginia Department of Health stated that a raccoon found in the area of the 300 block of Little Florida Road in Poquoson has tested positive for the rabies virus.

Witnesses reported seeing a man driving a blue truck near 325 Little Florida Road around 2:15 p.m. Nov. 14. Witnesses said the man got out of the truck and tried to remove the raccoon from the road, possibly getting bitten in the process. He then got back in the truck and left the scene.

The office of Environmental Health Services is contacting immediate neighbors as well as civic and homeowners’ associations; however, since it is not known where the man is from, the entire region is also being notified.

Rabies in humans is highly preventable if vaccinations are given before symptoms develop. However, once symptoms develop, it is fatal in almost 100 percent of cases.

Anyone having information regarding the identity of this man or knowledge of any other potential exposure to this animal is asked to call Gary Hagy at 645-7110 or Lois Gary at 594-7305. After hours, call 595-7387.