Post Eagle Newspaper


Dec 3, 2023

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Rabies Alert In Clifton!

Clifton Health Department Issues Rabies Alert
Rabid Skunk picked up in the area of Dawson Avenue.

[CLIFTON, NJ] – The Clifton Health Department is issuing a Rabies Alert to residents who may have had contact with a rabid skunk found in the area of Dawson Avenue in Clifton.  The skunk was first reported on January 26, 2017 by a concerned resident who noticed that the animal appeared to be sick.  The raccoon was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Public Health Laboratories, which confirmed that the skunk was positive for rabies.  Anyone who thinks that he/she or a pet may have had contact with this raccoon should contact the Clifton Health Department immediately at 973-470-5760.

Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having close contact with its saliva, needs to receive the rabies vaccination immediately.  Direct contact with wild or stray animals, even baby animals, is always unwise.  Parents should instruct children to refrain from touching unfamiliar animals and to immediately tell an adult if they have been bitten or scratched by an animal.

To avoid rabies exposure, the Clifton Health Department advises:

  • Avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals:  Enjoy wild animals (raccoons, bats, foxes) from afar.  Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.  Do not try to nurse sick animals to health.  Report a sick animal to the Health Department at 973-470-5760.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to learn.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

It is also crucial to be a responsible pet owner.  Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets.  Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.   Finally, spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.

If you suspect that you or a family member may have come into contact with a rabid animal, please contact your physician, report to a local Emergency Department, or contact the Clifton Health Department to ensure that you receive proper treatment.  When administered early enough and before symptoms appear, rabies treatment is 100 percent effective.  Once symptoms occur, the disease is almost always fatal.

Residents are encouraged to keep a lookout and to report any suspicious or sick animals such as bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs, or cats to Animal Control IMMEDIATELY by calling 973-470-5760. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE OR HANDLE THE ANIMAL YOURSELF. If an incident occurs after normal business hours, please call the Clifton Police non-emergency number at 973-470-5911.

The Clifton Health Department is a contractual health agency serving the Township of Little Falls.