PISCATAWAY — The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Piscataway, in the vicinity of Patton Avenue and Elwood Street.
This is the tenth rabid animal reported within Middlesex County this year and the third in Piscataway.
The Piscataway Animal Control Officer responded to a complaint of a raccoon in a resident’s yard. The raccoon was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported on Sept. 26 that the animal tested positive for rabies. Two potential human exposures and one potential animal exposure were reported to this Office. The pet cat received a rabies vaccination booster and was placed under a six month notice of confinement for observation. The owners of the cat have been notified to contact their physician. 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.