Deceased raccoon found in Milltown area of St. Stephen tests positive for rabies

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St. Stephen – St. Stephen Mayor, Allan MacEachern is asking residents of the Riverside Drive area of Milltown in St. Stephen to be cautious and vigilant, as a deceased raccoon found in a shed in the area on July 31, has tested positive for rabies.

“We want to make sure everyone was made aware as quickly as possible,” said MacEachern in a phone interview on Saturday.  “Everyone needs to be careful, and share the information.”  In a Facebook post later Saturday afternoon,, MacEachern said  “Residents need to be cautious of any wild animals who appear friendly, or acting out of their normal ways.  Let children know the dangers, and keep care of pets, and protect them as well.”

The specimen was very badly decomposed but fortunately some spinal cord tissue was still available for testing and fluorescent antibody testing done by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that the animal was rabid.  This latest case represents the 31st case of rabies in terrestrial wildlife species (26 raccoons and 5 skunks) in NB since the latest incursion of raccoon variant rabies began in May of 2014 and the fourth case for 2017.

“Fortunately, this latest case of rabies occurred in a geographic area where oral rabies vaccine baits have been distributed during each of the last three summers,” said Chief Provincial Veterinarian, Dr. James Goltz, in an email.    The area has been baited again since the discovery.

“Additional vaccine baits have been distributed in this area by hand, at a higher density than normal.”

The map and table of terrestrial rabies cases in New Brunswick have been updated and can be accessed via the following links:
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/10/pdf/Rabies-LaRage/RabiesCasesInNB.pdf
and
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/10/pdf/Rabies-LaRage/CasDeRageSignalesNB.pdf

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Krisi Marples
Editor Krisi Marples is the newest addition to the Courier team, but has been with The Advocate for almost 5 years. With a love of the written word, Krisi is enjoying making St. Stephen and the Courier her new home.