MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A raccoon found in the backyard of an east Montgomery home has tested positive for rabies, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The wild animal was found in the Lake Forest neighborhood, ADPH officials said.
State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Dee W. Jones said more testing is being done to determine the exact strain of rabies. He added that rabid raccoons are the primary cause of rabies being spread to other animals, both wild and domestic.
The virus is transmitted by saliva. General, rabies exposure requires direct contact with infected saliva, usually through a bite or a scratch, but other less common contact exposures with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) are also considered as potential exposures, ADPH said.
Precautions to avoid possible rabies exposure:
- Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
- Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
- Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
- Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.
- Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
- Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
- A person who is bitten or scratched by an animal should wash wounds immediately with mild soap and water, apply first aid, and seek medical attention or contact the county health department immediately.
Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination. For more information about rabies and prevention, please contact your county health department or ADPH at 1-800-338-8374 or 334-206-5100 or visit