A South Jersey health department urged residents to stay vigilant after a family’s dog attacked a raccoon that tested positive for rabies.
The rabid animal and dog fought over dog food left outside in Camden on April, 14, the Camden County Health Department said.
Luckily no humans appeared to be exposed and the dog’s rabies vaccines are up to date, health officials said.
The county hoped the incident would promote people becoming educated about rabies and what to do if exposed. Some of the tips from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention include avoiding rabid animals, keeping vaccinated pets under supervision outside and not adopting wild animals into a home.
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"Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment," Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Health Department, said. "If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention."
"The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort," the CDC says on its website. "As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms."