N.J. town warns its residents after coyote tests positive for rabies – NJ.com

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N.J. town warns its residents after coyote tests positive for rabies – NJ.com

By Chris Sheldon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A coyote caught in Hunterdon County has tested positive for rabies, the county department of health confirmed Wednesday.

The county had no reports of anyone being attacked by the animal, but residents in the area of Race Street and County Route 513 in Union Township were still warned about the positive test as the coyote was spotted there.

People who live in that neighborhood who may have come in contact with the coyote between June 22 and July 6 were asked to call their doctor if they had any questions or concerns if they feared that they were exposed to rabies.

The county did not elaborate on how exactly they possessed the coyote’s body, as rabies tests are completed on dead animals.

The department also reminded residents that the saliva from a rabid animal is considered infectious and that all cat, dog and livestock owners should have their animals vaccinated for rabies.

Rabies is an infectious disease that attacks the central nervous system. It travels from the brain to salivary glands during the final stages, making an animal become infectious days before it dies.

It cannot travel from one animal to another unless skin is broken, and is not air-borne, but any open wounds that come in contact with saliva are in jeopardy.

Coyote sightings have been noted in all 21 counties, as well as 400 municipalities across the state, according to the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. Sightings have increased significantly since 1980.

Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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