Raccoons and Rabies - Don't Invite Them Into Your New Jersey Home

Raccoons are wonderful animals seen often in New Jersey. They are resourceful, smart and totally cute . And while raccoons should always be treated with kindness and respect, people really need to stop inviting them in their houses.

Adorable, right? Wrong. The raccoon ended up testing positive for rabies, and now the girl, along with the 20 people she invited over to observe the animal, are being treated for exposure to this disease.

This time, a New Jersey resident took in an injured raccoon and was"bitten several times," authorities in New Jersey stated in a statement on Monday.

In the situation, local wildlife officials urged people to not touch or go near wild creatures, both for their own safety and for the benefit of those animals. Unless you are an expert wildlife rehabilitator or some other kind of expert who really knows what you are doing, it is ideal to simply appreciate wildlife from a respectful distance.

Rabies is just 1 reason to prevent brazenly bringing home the most sorts of wild creatures known to occasionally carry the illness. But as the recent cases demonstrate, it's a significant one. If you're exposed to rabies, or even if it's potential you were exposed to rabies, it is crucial that you seek medical help as soon as possible and start a post-exposure vaccine regimen. The procedure involves a series of shots over the course of a couple of months, and based on your insurance, it can be immensely expensive.

However, if there's any chance you're exposed to rabies, you really don't have much choice. Once a person begins actually developing rabies symptoms, it's almost always too late for them to survive. Just a tiny handful of people have ever survived rabies without receiving the post-exposure vaccine. Those few survivors underwent intensive therapy that included being put into a medically-induced coma.

That does not mean that you need to fly into a panic about visiting raccoons or other wildlife on your area. Statistically, most raccoons don't have rabies, and raccoons becoming busy in the day does not mean they are rabid. But plucking a raccoon out of outside and bringing it into your home, where you're maximizing close contact along with the chances of getting bitten, is simply reckless.

Plus, besides rabies, there are other ailments that raccoons can transmit to pets or people.

If you do visit a raccoon or a different kind of wild animal that you think could be orphaned, injured or in need of help, call your local animal control, wildlife officials or a nearby wildlife rehabilitation facility and ask them for information. That's not just for your own security, but also for the well-being of the critters. Every year, wildlife experts around the nation lament the large numbers of people who wrongly attempt to"rescue" creatures that really don't need their help. By removing those animals in their natural habitats, a great deal of people are unintentionally doing more damage than good.