A fifth rabid raccoon prompts Boston rabies alert

Local News

Animal control officials say rabid raccoons have been found recently in Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale.

Boston health officials announced a rabies alert Friday after a raccoon tested positive for the deadly disease, the latest in a recent spate of local rabies reports. 

The city’s Animal Care and Control department announced Friday that a rabid raccoon was discovered in Mission Hill. It’s the fifth Boston raccoon to test positive for rabies in recent weeks.

The Mission Hill raccoon was found on Aug. 14 near Hillside Avenue. Previously, three raccoons were picked up in Jamaica Plain, and one in Roslindale. 

So far, no humans have been exposed to rabies or suffered injuries related to the raccoons. 

Animal control officials announced the rabies alert on its Facebook page and asked anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the disease to contact their doctor or the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611. Anyone whose pet has come in contact with rabies should call their veterinarian or local animal control office.

Rabies is a life-threatening virus that can be transmitted through exposure from an infected animal. Prompt medical treatment is essential for anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal.

According to Boston Animal Control, “An exposure is any bite, scratch or other situation in which saliva or nervous tissue from a potentially rabid animal enters an open or fresh wound, abrasion or break in the skin, or comes in contact with a mucous membrane by entering the eye, nose or mouth. Rabies in people is preventable with prompt appropriate medical care.”

Health officials shared the following tips to keep humans and pets safe from rabies:

• Avoid and report wildlife that is behaving strangely or that appears sick or injured.

• Keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination.

• Supervise pets when they are outdoors.

• Seek medical care right away if you are bitten or scratched by an animal.

• Seek care for your pet right away if they are scratched or bitten by a raccoon or other potentially rabid animal.

• Do not attempt to touch or feed wild animals.

Boston Animal Care and Control will hold two free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs and cats. One will take place at BCYF Curtis Hall Community Center on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,  and another will be held at BCYF Tobin Community Center on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Anyone interested in more information about the clinics can email [email protected].

Anyone wishing to report a wild animal in Boston that appears sick, injured or oddly behaving can contact animal control officials at 617-635-5348.