WOOLWICH TWP. — Residents in the area of Messina Drive in Woolwich Township should be aware that a raccoon found on Aug. 9 has tested positive for rabies.
According to the Gloucester County Health Department, there was no human exposure, but one dog was exposed to the raccoon. A rabid raccoon was found in the vicinity of 2259 Kings Highway on June 28 which is in the same vicinity in Woolwich Township.
Rabid raccoons were recently diagnosed in Harrison Township and West Deptford Townships in July.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus in the saliva of infected animals. Post exposure treatment is needed immediately, as if left untreated can cause death.
All pet owners are urged to check the vaccination status of their pets. Avoid wild animals and keep your distance from stray dogs and cats. Be aware that high risk wildlife such as raccoons, foxes and skunks also feed in areas where outside cats are fed.
In order to ensure your safety, the Gloucester County Health Department recommends that your pets have current rabies vaccinations.
In addition, the Health Department advises the following:
- ADVISE YOUR CHILDREN NOT TO HANDLE STRAY OR UNFAMILIAR ANIMALS, AS WELL AS WILDLIFE.
- IF YOU SEE AN ANIMAL THAT APPEARS DISORIENTED OR EXHIBITS STRANGE BEHAVIOR, DO NOT HANDLE IT. IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE GLOUCESTER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICE AT (856) 881-2828.
For additional information on rabies please contact the Gloucester County Health Department at (856) 218-4170.