PISCATAWAY — The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is reporting that a skunk tested positive for rabies in Piscataway, in the vicinity of Patron Court and Nelson Place. This is the first rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2013.
The Piscataway Animal Control Officer responded to a complaint on Jan. 14 that an animal was seen attacking a dog. The skunk 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, and was placed under a 45 day notice of confinement for observation. The owner of the dog was notified to speak to a physician, and to have the pet dog receive a rabies vaccination booster. The Middlesex County Office of Health Services will distribute 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.
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