Two raccoons found on Pretty Brook Road have tested positive for rabies, Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser said.
The Princeton Health Department is concerned that other wild and stray animals may have come into contact with these raccoons.
Homeowners who allow their pets to roam outside unattended should check the status of their pets’ last rabies shot. If it has been longer than one year, a booster shot should be given. Residents are urged to not leave food outside because it can attract wild animals.
“Rabies is transmitted from infected mammals to humans or animals, usually through a bite, but scratches and saliva contact with broken skin or mucous membranes are also possible routes,” Grosser said. “Any person who has had direct contact with a raccoon may have been exposed to rabies and should contact a doctor as soon as possible.”
Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the nervous system and is fatal in humans without prompt treatment. The disease is spread when a rabid animal’s saliva contacts another animal or human through wounds in the skin, typically a bite.
Prophylactic treatment should be given as soon as possible after suspected exposure with a prompt dose of immune globulin and a series of five rabies vaccinations over a 28-day period. Current vaccinations are relatively painless and given as close to the injured area as possible. Rabies is virtually 100 percent lethal, but 100 percent preventable.
If bitten, scratched or licked by a wild animal:
• Immediately wash the wounds with plenty of soap and water
• Get prompt medical attention
• Get a description of the animal
• Report the bite to your local health or police department
Residents of Princeton are being urged to contact the Princeton Animal Control Officer and the Princeton Police Department at (609)921-2100 if they encounter suspicious wildlife or altercations between wild and domestic animals.
For more information on rabies, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website.