WESTFIELD, NJ - The Westfield Regional Health Department (WRHD), which provides public health and environmental services to Chatham Borough, Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Summit and Westfield, is alerting the Hilltop City community that a raccoon tested positive for rabies on January 16, 2020. 

Residents who may have had contact with a raccoon in the area of Russell Place in Summit -- any time between January 6 and January 13, 2020 -- should notify a physician immediately or the Westfield Regional Health Department to discuss concerns about possible exposure and the need for post exposure prophylaxis treatment. 

The WRHD reminds residents that It is important to remember not to pick up stray animals at any time. Saliva from infected animals should be considered infectious. 

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Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus. The virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by saliva of an open cut or the eyes. The disease is transmitted from animals to human or from animals to other animals. Humans & pets can be protected by receiving rabies prophylaxis after exposure. 

To protect oneself from rabies:

• Vaccinate pets against rabies and keep vaccinations up-to-date 

• License pets with the City 

• Do not feed or touch wild animals 

• Avoid contact with strays or pets other than your own 

All owners of cats, dogs and livestock should have their pets vaccinated against rabies. 

For more information, call 908-789-4070. After hours and on weekends, call 908-789-4000. To reach the Animal Control call, 908-722-1271