First Ever Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Tuscarawas County

(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Health Department is reporting a positive case of rabies found in raccoon.

On July 11, 2018, the Tuscarawas County Health Department confirmed they received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a deceased raccoon who had been previously exhibiting erratic behavior. The animal was collected by the Health Department at its deceased location near Echo Lake Road in Warren Township near Goshen Township.

On August 1, 2018, the Tuscarawas County Health Department was notified by the Ohio Department of Agriculture that the raccoon has been confirmed positive with Raccoon Rabies Variant (RRV). This is the first confirmed case of raccoon rabies variant reported in Tuscarawas County to date. This case signifies an immediate and potential threat of raccoon rabies to new areas of eastern and central Ohio.

RRV is a strain of rabies found in the eastern United States and has recently been identified in areas of Stark County.

Common signs that a raccoon or other wild animal has rabies include agitation, disorientation, excessively drooling, wobbling when walking and biting or snapping at people or objects.

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Tuscarawas County Health Department will continue to work with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to perform enhanced surveillance sample collections near the areas where the rabid raccoon was found. We are asking residents report any raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes or bobcats displaying strange behavior found in Warren or Goshen Township and surrounding areas to the Tuscarawas County Health Department by calling (330) 343-5550 or emailing director@tchdnow.org.

No prior cases have been identified in Tuscarawas County. If established, this strain could lead to a dramatic increase in rabies exposure to people and pets. To protect Ohioans and their domestic animals, the Tuscarawas County Health Department is partnering with the Ohio Department of Health, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and Wildlife Service (WS) to determine the best response

The Tuscarawas County Health Department conducted two low-cost rabies vaccine clinics for dogs and cats in June of this year. TCHD will be planning another low-cost clinic in the near future. Please visit www.tchdnow.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tchdnow for date and location confirmation once they are determined.

If you have questions regarding the recent raccoon positive case or about rabies, in general, please feel free to contact the Tuscarawas County Health Department at 330-343-5550 or the ODH Zoonotic Disease program at 614-752-1029 or by emailing at dierctor@tchdnow.org or zoonoses@odh.ohio.gov.

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