Raccoon

A raccoon is seen in this file photo.

A raccoon that bit and scratched a person south of Glasgow last weekend has tested positive for rabies, Delaware health officials announced Nov. 12.

The person who was bitten and scratched on Nov. 7 has begun treatment for rabies exposure.

Officials said anyone who thinks they may have been bitten, scratched, or come in contact with a raccoon in the area of Frazer and Denny roads should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available at all times.

Rabies is fatal to humans if not treated before symptoms appear. In 2018, a Felton woman became the first Delawarean to die of rabies in 80 years.

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 the area who thinks a raccoon may have bitten their pet should call their veterinarian for examination, treatment and to report the exposure to the Department of Agriculture.

Of 176 animals tested for rabies so far this year, officials said 18 were confirmed to be rabid, including a dog, deer, fox, cow, two skunks, three cats, three raccoons and six bats.

Locally, that includes a stray cat that bit two people near the Four Seasons neighborhood south of Newark in April and a skunk that came in contact with two people in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood east of Newark in June.

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