For immediate release by:
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer
Middlesex County Public Health Department
December 1, 2010  
Jay Kwiecinski
Middlesex County Public Health Department


Rabies Advisory – December 1, 2010

Middlesex County Public Health Department is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Monroe Township, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of Applegarth Road and Old Church Road.

This is the 17th rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2010 and the second rabid animal reported in the municipality of Monroe. 

A hunter’s dog fought with a raccoon, which was aggressive and not afraid of humans and/or animals.  The hunter put down the raccoon and then transported it to his local veterinarian’s office.   The raccoon was subsequently sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing.  It was reported yesterday that the animal tested positive for rabies. The dog is currently up to date with its rabies vaccination.  As a precaution the dog received a rabies booster and was placed under a 45-day observation period. The owner of the dog has been contacted in regards to his exposure to the raccoon. 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.