Health Experts Issue Perkiomen Rabies Warning

County Health Experts Issue Rabies WarningPERKIOMEN TOWNSHIP PA – Any individuals in or around Perkiomen Township who may have had recent contact with a raccoon or other wild or stray animal, or who own pets that may have had contact, are being asked to immediately call the Montgomery County Health Department at 610-278-5117. It’s concerned about a possible rabies infection.

The department reported a raccoon that tested positive for rabies last Saturday (Dec. 17, 2016) was discovered in the area of the 200 block of Seitz Road in the township. “Anyone that has been bitten or scratched by, or has had saliva exposure to, a raccoon must receive treatment to prevent this fatal disease,” the department warned in a memo distributed Tuesday (Dec. 20).

“The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death,” according to the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta GA. “Early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.”

“As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water),” it added. “Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.”

Those unable who believe they may have been exposed but cannot contact the department because of the holidays should seek immediate professional advice from a medical provider or emergency room.

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