Rabid Raccoon Found In South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD — A raccoon tested positive for rabies in South Plainfield, in the vicinity of Greenwich Street and Franklin Avenue, according to the Middlesex County Office of Health Services.

This is the 16th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2013 and the second rabid animal reported in South Plainfield.

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 Monday, Nov. 25, that the animal tested positive for rabies. It has been reported to this Office that the home owner was exposed to the animal.

The Middlesex County Office of Health Services recommended that the home owner contact their physician concerning their exposure. 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 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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