Rabid Raccoon found in New Castle County
Posted: Aug 9, 2018 5:33 PM
(Dover, Del) -Another rabid animal found in Delaware. The Division of Public Health is warning Hockessin residents in New Castle County of a positive case of rabies in a raccoon that came into contact with two dogs recently. The raccoon was captured and brought to the DPH Lab, where test results on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, confirmed it had rabies.
The raccoon climbed a resident's fence and entered the homeowner's yard, at which point it got into a fight with the homeowner's two dogs. The homeowner did not make contact with the raccoon; however, one of the dogs licked the homeowner's face after the altercation with the raccoon. The homeowner has begun treatment for possible rabies exposure, and the dogs, both up to date on rabies vaccines, are currently under quarantine following exposure.
Since Jan. 1, 2018, the Division of Public Health (DPH) has performed rabies tests on 80 animals, nine of which were confirmed to be rabid, including three foxes, three raccoons (including this one), one cat, one dog and one horse. Rabies tests performed on two animals (one sheep and one dog) were indeterminate. DPH only announces those rabies cases for which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with humans and there is a risk of exposure to the community.
Rabies in humans and animals cannot be cured once symptoms appear. If the animal is unavailable to be quarantined or tested, DPH recommends that people receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment, a series of four vaccinations, as a precautionary measure.
Rabies is an infectious disease affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Infection can occur through the bite or scratch of an infected animal or if saliva from such an animal gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or an opening in the skin.
Anyone in this area who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched or come in contact with the rabid raccoon should immediately contact their healthcare provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7. Anyone who thinks their pet may have been bitten by this raccoon should call their private veterinarian or the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) at 302-698-4630.