Rabid raccoon confirmed in Haddon Heights

(Gloucester Township, NJ) – The Camden County Health Department has been notified by the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services (NJDHHS) that a raccoon removed from a yard in Haddon Heights has tested positive for rabies.

On June 23, a deceased raccoon was found in the yard of a Haddon Heights home by a resident. No contact was observed between the family dog ​​and the raccoon. Haddon Heights’ Animal Control Officer (ACO) picked up the raccoon and arranged for a rabies test at the state Public Health & Environmental Laboratories in Trenton (PHEL).

There are no known human exposures to this raccoon.

On June 28, PHEL notified the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services that the animal was rabid.

The Haddon Heights affiliated ACO and pet owners have been notified. The owners provided proof of vaccinations for the dog, it received a rabies booster shot and will be quarantined and monitored for 45 days.

“Fortunately, in this case, there was no human exposure and the family dog ​​also appears to have avoided contact,” Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr said. “Although rabies is a serious disease, the disease can be prevented by early treatment of one.” bitten or scratched by a wild animal, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately.”

Cappelli urged district residents to follow a few simple rules, including being responsible pet owners:

  1. Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats and ferrets.
  2. Keep your pets under close supervision to avoid contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary care for the animal immediately.
  3. Contact your local animal welfare agency to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood. You may not have been vaccinated and could be infected with the disease.

Cappelli said it’s also important to avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals:

  1. Enjoy wildlife like raccoons, skunks, and foxes from afar. Do not touch, feed, or unintentionally lure wild animals with open garbage cans or gallons.
  2. Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Don’t try to nurse sick animals back to health. Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for help.
  3. Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, whether wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  4. Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas where they may come into contact with people or pets.
  5. When traveling abroad, avoid direct contact with wildlife and be especially cautious around dogs in developing countries. Rabies is widespread in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In these countries, tens of thousands of people die from rabies every year.

Cappelli said interested residents can learn more about rabies online by accessing information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ or residents can call the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at 856-374-6370.

About Clayton Arredondo

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