NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, a raccoon was found acting erratically and aggressively in the yard of a resident of Mare Haven Ct. in North Brunswick. The raccoon was killed by the resident’s pet dog, retrieved by animal control and was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, that the animal tested positive for rabies.
There are no human exposures and one domestic animal exposure to the raccoon. The dog has already been treated by its regular veterinarian. Additionally, Middlesex County Office of Health Services’ Registered Environmental Health Specialists will be distributing rabies fact sheets within the area.
This was the seventh reported case of rabies in the County this year and the firs tone in North Brunswick.
Middlesex County will conduct rabies vaccinations at several locations this fall. East Brunswick pets can be vaccinated on November 4 at the Community Arts Center on Cranbury Road. Cats only from 11-12. Dogs and cats from 12-3.
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. 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.This is the seventh (7) rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2017 and the first (1) rabid animal in North Brunswick this year.
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. 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
· Have increased drooling