SAYREVILLE—The Middlesex County Public Health Department is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Sayreville, in the vicinity of Chevalier Avenue and Oak Street.
This is the 12th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2009 and the first in the municipality of Sayreville.
On Oct. 19, the Sayreville Animal Control Officer responded to a report of a deceased raccoon in a resident’s backyard. The raccoon was then sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing and it was reported Wednesday that the animal tested positive for rabies.
There were no human or animal exposures reported to the department at this time. The department has advised the resident to consult their physician. Additionally, the department is currently distributing rabies advisory flyers and fact sheets in the area.
The Middlesex County Public Health Department continues to monitor rabies cases within the county. Residents should report wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior to their local animal control officer. Additionally, it is recommended that residents should avoid contact with wild animals and immediately report any bites from wild or domestic animals to your local health department and consult a physician as soon as possible. Finally, be sure that all family pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations and licenses.
Rabies is caused by a virus which can infect all warm-blooded mammals, including man. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by contamination of an open cut. New Jersey is enzootic for raccoon and bat variants of rabies. Bats, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, foxes, cats, and dogs represent about 95% of animals diagnosed with rabies in the United States.
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