Delaware's Division of Public Health is advising Newark residents who live or spend time in the area of West Chestnut Hill Road near Rittenhouse Park of a positive case of rabies in a raccoon that came into contact with a human recently.
The victim was bitten by the raccoon while getting into their vehicle.
The raccoon was captured and brought to the DPH Lab, where test results on July 24 confirmed it had rabies. The individual has begun treatment for rabies exposure.
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 744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7. Anyone who thinks their pet may have been bitten by the raccoon should call their private veterinarian or the Delaware Department of Agriculture at 698-4630 or email email@example.com.
Since Jan. 1, DPH has performed rabies tests on 70 animals, four of which were confirmed to be rabid. All four positive cases involved raccoons, including this one. DPH only announces those rabies cases for which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with additional humans or pets.
In 2018, DPH performed rabies tests on 146 animals, 19 of which were confirmed to be rabid, including six raccoons, five cats, one dog, five foxes, one horse and one donkey. Additionally last year, DPH announced Delaware's first positive case of rabies in a human in nearly 80 years. A Felton woman died after contracting the disease.
For more, visit dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/rabies.html or call 866-972-9705.