raccoon

A rabid raccoon bit a person downstate after sneaking into their home through a pet door in Angola.  

Public health officials said the racoon was captured from the Angola Crest II home and brought to a Delaware Division of Public Health lab, where test results confirmed it had rabies on Friday, January 12, 2018.  

The victim, who was bitten, is undergoing treatment for the bite, public health officials said.  Rabies is an incurable infectious disease that affects the nervous system of both human and animals. 

Animals in the home were all up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, but were placed under quarantine following potential exposure, Delaware DPH officials said.  

Anyone in this area who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched or come in contact with a raccoon should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302.744.4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7. Also 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.

The Delaware DPH provided the following rabies prevention tips: 

  • Avoid wild and feral animals, regardless of whether or not the animal seems “friendly.” Not all rabid animals exhibit the classic signs of the rabies illness, such as aggression, depression or other abnormal behavior.
  • Ensure your pets are up to date with rabies shots.
  • Keep pets indoors or, while outside, supervise them on a leash.

The raccoon is the first confirmed case of rabies in 2018.