St. Lawrence Borough officials along with the Animal Rescue League of Berks County have identified a number of rabid animals along Jacksonwald Avenue and the bottom of Parkview Road near the Antietam Creek. St. Lawrence will be issuing a CODE RED this afternoon warning residents to stay away from outdoor animals and to keep their indoor pets inside and to stay vigilant for rabies symptoms. Rabies is transmitted from animal to animal or animal to people through saliva from an infected animal into an open wound--most often through a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is not transmitted through feces, urine, blood, or by petting a rabid animal.
In people, rabies symptoms first begin as a tingling or prickling area around the wound or bite and then progress into typical flu-like symptoms, which may include one or more of the following symptoms: headache, tiredness, fever, dizziness and/or loss of appetite. Rabies then progresses into mental confusion, anxiety, hallucination, etc. Rabies is FATAL if not caught early and treated by a series of vaccines.
The District is recommending that all students stay away from any outdoor animals--even if they know them--particularly in the area around Antietam Creek, which is in the park known as Happy Landings (the park that runs in between the ETSD Administration Building and the Reiffton, Junior High and Senior High campuses). If any students were recently bitten by an outdoor animal or an animal that's been unsupervised outside, please do not wait for symptoms to appear. Please seek medical attention immediately.
The District has notified coaches to keep students together with other students or coaches when practicing outside. Students who are able to take bus transportation should do so, or walk with an adult or other students. The ARL is in the process of trapping animals in the area to assess the infection level and, along with St. Lawrence Borough, will stay in contact with the District so that we can determine if any further precautionary steps need to be taken before school resumes on April 18th.