For immediate release by:
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer
Middlesex County Public Health Department
January 13, 2010  
Contact:
John Dowd, HERC
Middlesex County Public Health Department
732-745-3135
john.dowd@co.middlesex.nj.us

 

MIDDLESEX COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Rabies Advisory – February 5, 2010

Middlesex County Public Health Department is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Monroe, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of 11th Street and Avenue D.

This is the second rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2010 and the first rabid animal reported in the municipality of Monroe. 

On February 3, 2010, the Monroe Animal Control Officer responded to a report that a raccoon wandered onto a resident’s property.  The resident reported that the raccoon appeared sick with a wobbly gait and observed their pet dog barking at the animal. 

The resident had concerns that their pet dog may have been exposed to the raccoon. The pet was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination.  As a precaution, the Public Health Department advised the owner to consult with a veterinarian to receive a booster vaccination and to place the pet under a 45- day observation period. The raccoon was subsequently put down and sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing.  It was reported today that the animal tested positive for rabies. 

There were no human exposures reported to the department at this time. Additionally, the department is distributing rabies advisory flyers and fact sheets in the area.

The Middlesex County Public Health Department 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.

Rabies Prevention Guidelines

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


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

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