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State seeks New Castle people who may been in contact with rabid raccoon

The Delaware Division of Public Health said the raccoon bit a person who was getting into a car in the area of Hillview Avenue. 

The state is looking for people who have had contact with a rabid raccoon near the Route 9 corridor.

The Delaware Division of Public Health said the raccoon bit a person who was getting into a car in the area of Hillview Avenue. 

The animal was captured and tested, and the bitten person is being treated for rabies.

Public Health is asking that anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched or come in contact with a raccoon to contact their health care provider or call the DPH rabies program at 302-744-4995.

Anyone who believes their pet may have come in contact with a raccoon should call their veterinarian or the Delaware Department of Agriculture at 302-698-4500

DPH says that in 2019, nine animals tested positive for rabies out of 154 animals tested. So far this year, 3 of 79 tests have come up positive.

The state only announces the cases when officials are worried others may also have been exposed.

If you come in contact with an animal that seems to be acting aggressively and or foaming from the mouth, do not throw objects at the animal, the state said.

Instead, put your hands above your head to make yourself appear larger than the animal while backing away from it. If the animals continue to move toward you, yell at the animal in a stern voice, “Get away!” If that fails, protect yourself by any means, which includes throwing objects at the animal or keeping it away from you with a long stick.

If you encounter a wild animal behaving aggressively, contact DNREC’s wildlife sections at 302-739-9912 or 302-735-3600.

DPH also recommends these steps to prevent exposure to rabies:           

  • Vaccinating all dogs, cats, and ferrets 6 months or older for rabies
  • Reducing the risk of exposure by keeping pets indoors and not letting them roam free, DPH says that it is especially important to not let cats roam outdoors.
  • Not touching or handling wild animals including cats and dogs.
  • Do not keep food or water outdoors.
  • Do not feed feral animals, including cats and dogs.
  • Spaying and neutering pets, which reduces and animals’ tendency to roam or fight.
  • Keeping your garbage secure
  • Vaccinating livestock and horses; it is recommended consulting your private veterinarian if you have questions about vaccinating your animals against rabies.

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