The areas are divided into "eastern," "western" and "active surveillance."
Active surveillance counties are those where oral rabies vaccinations are distributed during the summer months. The vaccinations are dropped from planes or helicopters into areas where they are likely to be encountered and ingested. Animals are attracted to the scent.
Those counties include Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Ohio, Pleasants, Raleigh, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming.
Eastern counties include Barbour, Berkeley, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Marion, Morgan, Mineral, Monroe, Monongalia, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, and Upshur.
Western counties include Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne.
McBee said human cases of rabies are rare, and the last case in West Virginia was reported in 1994.
Any warm-blooded mammal is susceptible to rabies, but some species are more resistant to the virus than others.
While opossums are resistant to rabies, foxes can contract the disease easily. Humans lie in the middle of the spectrum.
Animals produce the virus in their salivary glands, and the virus is then transferred to other animals via bite wounds. Rabies enters the nerves near the bitten site, travels to the brain and attacks the nervous system.
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