The East Shore District Health Department has issued a rabies alert for East Haven — as well as the neighboring towns of Branford and North Branford — after two recent incidents involving rabid animals have raised some concern, according to a WFSB report.
Within the last few days, health department officials have reportedly caught two animals in the district that have tested positive for rabies: a bat that found its way into a local home and a raccoon that attacked a neighborhood dog.
Both animals tested positive for rabies.
Uptick in Reports Last Summer
The alert echoes a similar warning issued by the district late last summer, which noted an uptick in reported and confirmed cases of rabid animals in the shoreline area.
Because of this ongoing threat, health department officials are "advising residents to be vigilant and to protect themselves from contact with wild animals," according to the report.
District officials said residents should also make sure their pets are immunized.
In its report, WFSB stated that health district officials expect the alert to last through to the end of the summer.
Some Protection Tips
Here are a list of precautions to help protect you, your family and your pets:
- Immunize your pets Make sure pets receive regular booster rabies vaccinations to keep their protection continuous. Keep proper documentation of vaccination.
- Do not leave out food for animals: wild, stray or pet.
- Report strange behavior in animals to your local animal control officer. Symptoms of rabies include daytime activity in nocturnal animals such as bats, raccoons, and skunks. Other signs are aggression, awkward movements, or simply that an animal appears “sick.”
- Stop pets from coming into contact with these wild animals when possible. If a pet does have an encounter with a wild animal, the owner should contact their veterinarian immediately.
- Do not attempt to break up a fight between a pet and a wild animal. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and protective clothing when trying to gain control and clean up your pet after a fight.
- If you are bit, wash the area immediately with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention. It is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention if exposed to rabies. If not treated, rabies is almost always fatal.
- All incidents involving a person bit by any animal should be reported to your town’s animal control officer and the Health Department. The Health Department will work with your physician and advise on the need for rabies shots. If the animal can be caught, the town animal control officer will assist in capturing the animal and having it tested for rabies. Testing a suspect animal for rabies is the best approach, if possible.
For more information call East Shore District Health Department at 203-481-4233 or find information at its website: www.ESDHD.org.