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Officials: Raccoon involved in Wayne County attack was rabid

Officials say the raccoon that attacked a person in Rose last week tested positive for rabies.

The story was originally reported late-last week, after a pair of attacks were reported in the Rose-area.

Wayne County Public Health Director Diane Devlin confirmed on Monday that the animal involved in one of the attacks, which was killed before being tested – did in fact test positive for rabies.

Veronica Lafave-Boughton, who serves as Rabies Coordinator for Wayne County Public Health says the person who was injured was treated for rabies in both incidents.

In a press release, Wayne County officials said that the number of rabid animals being observed has been ‘higher’ than in past years.

“However, this winter season has seen warmer-than-normal temperatures, and reports of animal bites and positive rabid animals continue to come in more often than normal,” the department said. “Public Health is always notified of animal bites and investigates rabies cases in all kinds of animals throughout the year, including raccoons, foxes, cats and dogs and more — even horses.”

Domesticated animals, like dogs and cats, are required by law to get vaccinated every one or three years.

“The dangers of rabies being transferred to humans from contact with an infected animal cannot be understated,” said the health department. “All animal bites, or contact from animals you suspect may have rabies, including if you do not know if the animal has had a rabies vaccination in the past, must be reported. Seek medical care immediately. Rabies cannot be cured. It can only be prevented.”