Cedar Grove Residents Warned About Rabid Raccoons
Health department issues alert concerning several animals in township found to have disease.
The Cedar Grove Health Department was recently notified several raccoons captured in the township have tested positive for rabies.
Health department officials are advising any resident who may have been bitten, scratched, handled or come in contact with a raccoon or other rabies-carrying animal since April 27 contact their family doctor immediately.
In addition, the Cedar Grove Health Department should be advised of any contact by calling (973) 239-1410, ext. 224.
The health department issued the following warnings and tips for people spending time outdoors during the warm weather:
• Do not touch, feed, harass or provide shelter for any unfamiliar pets, wild or stray animals.
• Vaccinate your pets against rabies.
• Do not leave your pets outside unattended or let pets roam free.
• Get pets spayed or neutered. They are less likely to leave home, become strays, and make more stray animals.
• Keep trash cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
• Bat-proof your home by sealing small openings and keeping unscreened doors and windows closed.
• Teach children never to approach any unfamiliar animals and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
• Seek immediate medical attention if you are exposed to or bitten by an animal.
According to the national Centers for Disease Control website, the rabies virus is an infection of the central nervous system. If left untreated it ultimately causes disease in the brain and death.
The early symptoms of rabies are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort, according to the website.
Progression of the disease symptoms may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, increase in saliva, difficulty swallowing, and fear of water. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
For more information, visit the CDC website or to print out a rabies fact sheet, click here.