The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed at least one case of rabies in a raccoon in Wayland. According to DPH representative Anne Roach, the animal tested positive for the virus last week.
Statewide, 19 animals tested positive for rabies between January and March, according to DPH, including 12 raccoons, five skunks, one bobcat and one bat. That's up from 15 animals during the same period in 2012.
Rabies is a very serious disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of mammals, according to the DPH's website. Rabies is caused by a virus and almost always causes death.
Roach said it is important to keep a safe distance away from any animal that is behaving strangely and to call the proper authorities. For more information, visit the DPH rabies website.