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South Jersey raccoon tests positive for rabies after biting dog

raccoon
(Sam Greenwood, Getty Images)

CAMDEN — A raccoon has tested positive for rabies after attacking a dog in South Jersey.

The Camden County Health Department said the dog was bit when it fought with the raccoon over dog food left outside a city home last Friday.

The raccoon was taken to the New Jersey Public Health and Environmental Laboratories in Trenton where the test came back positive on Wednesday.

The dog was current on his rabies vaccinations and the raccoon has not been exposed to any humans, according to the Health Department.

“Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment. If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention,” Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez said.

The Health Department did not disclosed he name of the dog’s owners.

Rodriquez said that if your pet comes in contact with a wild animal to get it to a vet immediately and to call animal control if you spot a wild animal in your neighborhood.

Other tips to avoid contacting rabies, from the Camden County Health Department:

  • Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or liter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they seem friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people or pets.
  • When traveling abroad, avoid direct contact with wild animals and be especially careful around dogs in developing countries. Rabies is common in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Tens of thousands of people die of rabies each year in these countries.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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