EDISON – A case of rabies in a raccoon within Edison Township was confirmed by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services Laboratory Wednesday. This is the first confirmed case of rabies in a raccoon within the township since October 2009, according to township officials.
This raccoon appeared sick and was reported by a resident of Dobson Road on the evening of Monday, July 19. The Edison Municipal Animal Shelter submitted the raccoon to the NJ State Rabies Laboratory. No known exposures to this rabid animal have been reported.
The Division of Health offers the following advice:
- Vaccinate all pets you take care of and prevent them from running loose.
- Never touch a wild animal, even if it is dead or injured.
- Leave wildlife alone. Do not make pets of wild animals or try to “save” baby animals even if they seem abandoned.
- Educate children to stay away from stray animals. Do not pet stray animals.
- Pets can get rabies – have your dogs and cats vaccinated and licensed.
- Do not feed or handle stray cats, since cats contract rabies six times more often than dogs.
- Call your Animal Control Officer if you find stray animals 1-732-248-7278.
- Keep garbage cans covered with tight lids. Cap all chimneys, which raccoons often use as dens. Keep sheds and garages and other possible den sites in good repair.
- Keep pets indoors at nights to avoid contact with rabies “high risk” animals.
- If bitten by any animal, take as careful a look at the animal as is consistent with safety. Much may depend on the subsequent identification of the animal.
- Immediately wash all animal bites thoroughly with soap and water. Call your doctor or go the nearest emergency room. Report the incident to the Health Department or Police Department as soon as possible. The Police Department can be reached at 1-732-248-7400 and the Health Department may be reached at 1-732-248-7273
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