PISCATAWAY — The Middlesex County Office of Health Services reported that a fox tested positive for rabies in Piscataway, in the vicinity of River Road and Maplehurst Lane.
This is the 11th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2012, and the fourth in Piscataway.
The Piscataway Animal Control Officer responded to a complaint that an animal bit a resident. During a walk with a pet dog, a resident was bitten by a fox, and the pet dog was exposed to the animal while protecting its owner. The fox was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported today that the animal tested positive for rabies.
The pet dog had a current rabies vaccination, received a rabies vaccination booster, and was placed under a 45-day notice of confinement for observation. The resident received medical attention and has begun rabies post exposure vaccinations. 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 that 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.