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A third local rabies case is reported

The Gloucester County Health Department reported its third positive rabies case of 2010 recently.

According to environmental health supervisor M.B. Sheppard, the case occurred between midnight and 1 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24, on Kemp Lane in Hayes.

The case involved an altercation between two dogs and a raccoon. "The owners heard the ruckus and went out, saw the raccoon and hit it over the head with a stick or axe handle," which killed the animal, Sheppard said.

In some rabies cases, it is difficult to confirm if the animal is rabid because much of the brain is damaged, such as when they are shot in the head, Sheppard said. Fortunately, there was ample brain tissue to be tested when the raccoon’s head was taken by courier service to a state lab in Richmond.

The Gloucester Health Department received confirmation of a rabid animal on Sept. 25. The state gives a high priority to establishing incidence of positive rabies, Sheppard said.

Both dogs were current on th...

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