RIDEM confirms rabies in NP raccoon

RIDEM confirms rabies in NP raccoon

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health are advising the people who live in the Lymansville area of Sack Street North Providence that a raccoon in the area tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon was seen in a yard with three dogs. It was captured by RIDEM Wildlife Enforcement and subsequently tested for rabies at the State Health Laboratory, where it was confirmed to be infected with rabies. The dogs were properly vaccinated against rabies prior to the exposure. The canines' owners are undergoing preventative treatment.

Anyone who may have had any physical contact with this raccoon should call the Department of Health immediately at 401-222-2577, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 401-272-5952 after hours. Anyone who has a pet that may have had contact with this raccoon in this area should contact North Providence Animal Control at 401-719-1516 during normal business hours or North Providence Police Department at 401-231-4533 after hours.

State officials remind all Rhode Islanders that rabies is a serious public health issue. Once symptoms appear, rabies is fatal in people and animals. Rabies-immune globulin is available for people who may have been exposed to rabies, but it must be started as soon as possible after exposure. All dogs, cats and ferrets are required by state law to have current vaccination against rabies. Vaccination of pets prevents them from contracting rabies and prevents people from becoming exposed to rabies through their pets.