Raccoon in Green Tree is 3rd animal to test positive for rabies in Allegheny County in 2019 | TribLIVE.com

Raccoon in Green Tree is 3rd animal to test positive for rabies in Allegheny County in 2019

Tom Davidson
A raccoon.

The Allegheny County Health Department confirmed Friday that a raccoon brought to one of its facilities earlier this week tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon is the third animal this year to test positive for rabies.

The raccoon was discovered near the 1500 block of Glencoe Avenue in Green Tree.

This is the second raccoon to test positive for the disease this year. A bat also tested positive, the health department said.

“It’s not unusual,” department spokesman Ryan Scarpino said about the number of animals testing positive for rabies so far this year.

In January/February 2016, there were four confirmed cases, he said.

Annually, there have been between 15 and 23 cases of rabies each year since 2014, he said. There were 23 cases in 2016, the highest number in recent years. The state, which tracks the numbers, hasn’t released the total for 2018, Scarpino said.

Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by an animal bite or scratch, and exposures due to a bite or scratch are almost always fatal when left untreated, according to the health department.

A person who is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to saliva from a stray or any other animal, should immediately cleanse the contact area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the Allegheny County Health Department (412-687-2243) to report the incident.

If any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, residents should immediately notify their local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Residents should also make sure that their pets are up-to-date with vaccinations, the health department said.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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