Rabid raccoon tested in South River

The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in South River, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of Louis Street and Burton Avenue. 

This is the twelfth (12) rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2017 and the second rabid animal in South River.

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, upon returning home that evening two residents observed a raccoon in their driveway which appeared to be moving sluggishly
and dragging its hind legs.  In an attempt to care for the raccoon, the residents took the animal to a local veterinarian’s office for treatment.  

While at the veterinarian’s office the raccoon was euthanized and sent to the New Jersey Department of Health
Laboratory for testing.

It was reported on Thursday, November 2, 2017, that the animal tested positive for rabies. There are two confirmed human exposures and no domestic animal exposures to the raccoon. 

The residents were advised to follow up with their primary
care physician regarding any post exposure treatment. 

Middlesex County Office of Health Services’ Registered Environmental Health Specialists will be distributing rabies fact sheets within the area.


            The Middlesex County Office of Health Services continues to monitor rabies cases within the municipality. Residents should report wild animals showing signs
of unusual behavior to the Police Department. 

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. 

All family pets should be up to date on their rabies vaccinations.


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 bite, or possibly by contamination of an open cut. 

New Jersey is enzootic for raccoon and bat variants of rabies, which means it regularly affects animals in the area. Bats, skunks, groundhogs, foxes, cats and dogs represent about 95% of animals diagnosed with rabies in the Unites States.



Rabies Prevention Guidelines


The Middlesex County of Health Services is advising residents to follow these guidelines in order to prevent rabies from being transmitted to themselves of their pets:


Immediately report a bite from a wild or domestic animal to your local health department.

Wash animal bite wounds thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after the bite.

Contamination of open cuts and scratches with saliva of potentially rabid animals should also be washed off immediately.

Consult a physician as soon as possible.

Immediately report any wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior.

Signs on unusual animal behavior could be that the animal may:

Move slowly                                       

May act as if tame

Appear sick

Have problems swallowing

Have and increase in saliva

Have increased drooling

Act aggressive

Have difficulty moving

Have paralysis

Bite at everything if excited

Residents should avoid any contact with the animal and call your local animal control officer or local police department.

Be sure that all family pets are up to date on their rabies vaccination.

If unsure, please call your veterinarian.

Call your local health department for free rabies vaccination clinic availability.

Animal proof your home and yard

Make sure all garbage containers have tight fitting lids, do not leave pet food or water outside, do not allow rainwater to collect in outdoor containers
or equipment and keep yard free of garbage and debris.

Do not feed or handle wild animals.
Avoid contact with stray animals or pets other than your own.
Try to prevent your pets from coming into contact with wild animals.
Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter for bats



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