PISCATAWAY — The Middlesex County Office of Health Services reported that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Piscataway, in the vicinity of Ludlow Street and Rivercrest Drive.
This is the eighth rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2012 and the second in the municipality of Piscataway.
The raccoon, which was behaving abnormally, was picked up by the Piscataway Township Animal Control Officer and sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported Wedneday that the animal tested positive for the rabies virus. The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is distributing rabies advisory flyers and fact sheets in the area.
The Middlesex County Office of Health Services 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.