Rabid Skunk Found In North Brunswick

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NORTH BRUNSWICK — The Middlesex County Office of Public Health reported that a skunk tested positive for rabies in North Brunswick, in the vicinity of Glenn Avenue and Linwood Place.

This is the third rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2011 and the first reported in the municipality of North Brunswick.

On Oct.12, the Franklin Township Animal Control Officer, who responded as part of a mutual aid agreement with North Brunswick, responded to a report that a skunk attacked a resident’s dog. The skunk was picked up at the resident’s home by the Animal Control Officer, brought to a veterinarian where it was euthanized, and sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported today that the animal tested positive for rabies.

Subsequently, the pet dog was euthanized due to the injuries sustained during the attack. The owner of the dog has been contacted and has agreed to begin post exposure treatment, since the resident handled the dog after the attack. Additionally, an Animal Control Officer has been advised to receive a booster immunization because of possible exposure to the skunk. The Middlesex County Office of Public Health is distributing rabies advisory flyers and fact sheets in the area.

The Middlesex County Office of Public Health 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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