METUCHEN — A raccoon found in the vicinity of Oak Avenue and Maple Avenue in Metuchen has tested positive for rabies, according to the Middlesex County Office of Health Services. This is the 13th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2013 and the third in Metuchen.
The Animal Control Officer responded to a complaint that a pet dog killed a raccoon in the yard of a resident’s home. The raccoon was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported on Thursday, Nov. 7, that the animal tested positive for rabies. No human bites or exposures have been reported to this Office.
The pet dog had a current rabies vaccination, received a booster rabies vaccination, and was placed under a 45 day observation period. The Middlesex County Office of Health Services recommended that the home owner speak to their physician if they have additional questions about their exposure. 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.
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