MONROE, NJ - The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Monroe, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of Spotswood Gravel Hill Road and Garvey Drive.

This is the first (1) rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2018 and the first (1) rabid animal in Monroe.

On Monday, February 5, 2018, the Animal Control Officer for Monroe Township responded to a report of a resident’s dog killing a raccoon.  The raccoon was subsequently sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 that the animal tested positive for rabies. There are no human exposures to the raccoon. The resident’s dog has a current rabies vaccination and they were advised to follow up with their pet’s veterinarian regarding any post exposure treatment.  Additionally, a Middlesex County Office of Health Services’ Registered Environmental Health Specialist will be distributing rabies fact sheets within the area.

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 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.

 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.