News Department

2 raccoons test positive for rabies in Hunterdon County

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County Heath Department has issued a public health notice after a raccoon found in Tewksbury Township and Raritan Township tested positive for rabies.

The first raccoon tested positive for rabies on Sept. 9 and was in the area of Christy Hoffman Farm and Route 512 in Tewksbury Township, health officials said.

A 79-year-old Tewksbury Township man was attacked by a raccoon while walking his dogs at Christie Hoffman Farm Park on Sept. 4. He reported that the raccoon bit into his pant leg and would not let go. He sustained scratches to his arm while fighting off the raccoon and went to a local hospital on his own to be treated for his injuries. Neither of his dogs were injured in the attack, police said.

Area residents who may have had contact with this raccoon any time between Aug. 21, 2020 and Sept. 4, 2020 should notify their primary care physician immediately to discuss concerns for possible exposure and the need for post exposure prophylaxis treatment, health officials said.

The second raccoon tested positive for rabies on Sept. 10 and was in the area of Prescott and Pierce Courts in Raritan Township, health officials said.

Area residents who may have had contact with this raccoon any time between Aug. 22, 2020 and Sept. 5, 2020 should notify their primary care physician immediately to discuss concerns for possible exposure and the need for post exposure prophylaxis treatment, health officials said.

It is important to remember not to pick up stray animals at any time. Saliva from infected animals should be
considered infectious.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus. The virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by saliva of an open cut or the eyes. The disease is transmitted from animals to human or from animals to other animals. Left untreated, humans can be protected by receiving rabies prophylaxis after exposure.

How can we protect ourselves from rabies?
• Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep vaccinations up-to-date
• Do not feed or touch wild animals
• Avoid contact with strays or pets other than your own

All owners of cats, dogs and livestock should have the vaccination against rabies through their veterinarian or through municipal rabies clinics. For a listing of upcoming free rabies clinics, visit the Hunterdon County Department of Health Info Line website

For more information, call 908-788-1351. After hours and on weekends, call 908-788-1202. To reach the
Tewksbury Township Animal Control Officer, Laura Roerig, call 908-537-7663 or the Raritan Township Animal Control Officer, Tom Dodd, call 908-722-01271.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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