Rabid Raccoon Found In Township; Fourth In County This Year

A raccoon that was attacked by a pet dog on Hollywood Avenue was found to have rabies, county health officials said.

The altercation between the dog and raccoon occurred on Aug. 1, according to a press release from Somerset County. The raccoon was picked up by township Animal Control, and was sent to the public health laboratory at the New Jersey Department of Health, where rabies was confirmed.

The dog was current with its rabies shots and was given a booster, according to the release.

This is the fourth case this year of a rabid raccoon showing up in Somerset County, according to the release. From January through June, there were 49 cases of rabid raccoons in the state, according to the release.

“If you are bitten or attacked by an animal, do not delay in reporting it to the health authorities,” Somerset County Health Officer Dr. Paul Masaba said in the release. “Rabies is a serious illness that can be fatal in humans without treatment.”

Any residents who see an animal acting strangely should stay away and call their local police department or local health department.

People can get rabies through animal bites or when saliva of an infected animal enters the body through cuts or scratches. Rabies is preventable with prompt medical attention. Anyone who is bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal – including stray dogs and cats – should promptly wash the area with soap and water and seek medical attention. If a pet is bitten or scratched, take it to a vet promptly. In either case, be sure to report the incident immediately to the police and the local health department. For health department contact information in Somerset County municipalities, visit http://bit.ly/MunicHealth.

A listing of upcoming rabies clinics in Somerset County can be found at http://bit.ly/HealthCalendar This listing is updated as clinic dates are provided to the county health department.

For further information on rabies, visit the New Jersey Department of Health website at http://bit.ly/RabiesFAQ.


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