NEW BRUNSWICK – The Middlesex County Public Health Department is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in New Brunswick, in the vicinity of College Farm Road and Poultry Lane on Rutgers University.
This is the 15th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2010 and the first rabid animal reported in the municipality of New Brunswick.
On Oct. 4, a raccoon was observed with wobbly gait, drooling saliva, and was unafraid of humans. The raccoon was euthanized by a Rutgers University veterinarian and was sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported today that the animal tested positive for rabies. There have been no reported human or animal exposures to the raccoon. Additionally, the department is 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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