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NH DHHS Asks for Public’s Help During Investigation of Rabies Found in Rescued Raccoon in Conway, NH
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(603) 271-9389

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Issued by Bureau of Infectious Disease Control
Publish Date:
October 11, 2019

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is requesting help locating a man from Massachusetts who came in contact with a baby raccoon in Conway, New Hampshire on Friday, September 20th. This man stopped to assist a New Hampshire resident with the removal of two baby raccoons from the roadway prior to authorities being contacted. The raccoons were brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center where one raccoon later died and was identified to have rabies. This man is being sought to assess his risk for rabies and determine the need for treatment to prevent illness.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20th, an unidentified man stopped to assist a New Hampshire resident remove two baby raccoons from the roadway on the outskirts of Conway, New Hampshire on Route 16 / White Mountain Highway between North Bald Hill Road and Thorn Hill Road. This man was described as a man with medium build in his 30s, approximately 5’8” or 5’9”, with very short or shaved, light-colored hair. He had tattoos on his arms and was wearing a dark t-shirt and jeans. This gentleman was driving a large pickup truck with over-sized tires and Massachusetts license plates. The color of the truck could be black, dark blue or dark gray. This person is asked to call the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services’ Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at (603) 271-4496.

“We would like this individual to contact us so that we can assess his risk for acquiring rabies while handling the baby raccoon and to help determine whether he might need treatment to prevent rabies,” said New Hampshire State Epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan. “Rabies is a fatal illness that is transmitted through direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal, but administering rabies vaccine and immune globulin after an exposure can prevent disease.”

Rabies virus is transmitted through direct contact with saliva from an infected animal; this can occur through a bite, scratch, broken skin or mucous membrane exposure (e.g. contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth). Rabies occurs worldwide, and although human infections are extremely rare in the United States, infections occur when people are scratched or bitten by an infected animal and do not seek appropriate treatment. Because wild animals can carry diseases without appearing to be sick, it is important to enjoy wildlife from a distance. Close contact with wildlife can spread these diseases to people and pets. Stray domesticated animals should undergo the appropriate veterinary inspection and quarantine to prevent the spread of these diseases when they are rescued or adopted. By law, all dogs, cats, and ferrets should have up-to-date rabies vaccinations. It is highly recommended that certain livestock species also receive rabies vaccination.

Anyone with questions about rabies can call the New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at (603) 271-4496. The Rabies Fact Sheet Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol and additional information is available on the DHHS website and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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