WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A rabid raccoon was recently found and captured in Watertown.

On September 23, Jefferson County Public Health confirmed that a raccoon has tested positive for rabies. The animal was located in the City of Watertown and submitted by the United States Department of Agriculture for testing.

Rabies is a fatal disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. Any mammal can get rabies, but it is most often seen in bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes.

After exposure, symptoms can appear several weeks to several weeks later. Early treatment after exposure can prevent rabies in humans and in pets who are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

However, Public Health stated that there were no known human or pet exposures.

Residents are urged to take the following steps to prevent the spread of rabies in the North Country:

  • Teach children to stay away from unfamiliar animals
  • Do not leave pet food outside
  • Wash any wound from an animal encounter thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately
  • Keep all pet’s vaccinations current
  • Monitor pets when outside