Citing a raccoon attack on a resident, the Monmouth County Health Department issued a warning about the dangers posed by rabid animals. The victim, who was bitten while in the backyard of a residence, is receiving rabies post-exposure treatment, according to a news release issued by the department.
Belmar police, along with Monmouth County SPCA, have captured a raccoon they believe to have been involved in the attack and will be testing it for rabies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the CDC each year from New Jersey occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks and bats.
County officials also warned that rabies can be fatal to pets. “Protecting your pets by keeping them current on their rabies vaccine is an important safeguard between wildlife rabies and human exposure,” said Freeholder Patrick Impreveduto, liaison to the health department. “Not only does the vaccine keep your pet safe, but it can help keep you and your family safe as well.”