For immediate release by:
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer
Middlesex County Public Health Department
March 29, 2010  
Jay Kwiecinski
Middlesex County Public Health Department


Rabies Advisory – March 29, 2010

The Middlesex County Public Health Department is reporting that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in South Amboy, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of Railroad Avenue and Alpine Street.

On March 26, 2010, the South Amboy Animal Control Officer responded to a report that a raccoon attacked a resident’s dog. The resident reported that the raccoon appeared sick and aggressive.  The raccoon was subsequently put down and sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing.  It was reported today that the animal tested positive for rabies.

The resident’s dog was not up to date with its rabies vaccination at the time of the incident.  In accordance with NJ State Department of Health guidelines the Middlesex County Public Health Department has placed the dog under a strict quarantine for a six month time period. The resident however has the option to have the dog euthanized if they feel they can’t comply with the quarantine. The owner of the dog was also advised to speak to a physician regarding exposure to the raccoon.  Additionally, the department is distributing rabies advisory flyers and fact sheets in the area.

This is the fifth rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2010 and the first rabid animal reported in the municipality of South Amboy. 

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.