NEW BRUNSWICK — A fox found in New Brunswick, in the vicinity of College Farm Road and Route 1, tested positive for rabies, the Middlesex County Office of Health Services announced this afternoon.
This is the 14th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2013 and the first reported in New Brunswick.
The fox, which appeared to be lethargic and sick, was found in a goat pen at Rutgers University. The fox was captured by a Rutgers University farm manager and staff and euthanized by a Rutgers University veterinarian. The animal was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing.
It was reported on Wednesday, Nov. 13, that the animal tested positive for rabies. No human bites or exposures were reported. The goats all had a current rabies vaccination and were placed under a 45 day observation period.
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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