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Sick raccoon found near White Oak Park is first to test positive for rabies in 2020 in Allegheny County
White Oak police and the Allegheny County Health Department are warning residents to avoid and report any animals that appear to be unusually aggressive or lethargic.
The warnings were issued after the health department reported that a sick raccoon captured on Route 48 near White Oak Park tested positive for rabies.
Residents are reminded to watch for unusual behavior in animals, make sure their pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, and notify their local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately if any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, said Ryan Scarpino, a spokesman for the health department.
The raccoon captured near White Oak Park was the first in Allegheny County in 2020 to test positive for rabies so far, he said.
Preliminary results indicate 25 animals tested positive for rabies in the county in 2019, including 18 raccoons, five bats and two cats, Scarpino said.
Any individual who is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to saliva from an animal should immediately cleanse the contact area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the health department at (412) 687-2243 to report the incident, Scarpino said.
In a prepared release, White Oak police noted that just because a raccoon is out during the day, it may not necessarily have rabies.
"They search for food during the day as well as at night," the police department said, but if residents "see a raccoon that appears either mean or aggressive or lethargic and 'out of it,' this could mean it is sick."
Originally published January 06, 2020.