GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Public health officials in New London are warning residents after a raccoon in Groton tested positive for the rabies virus on Friday.

Officials with the Ledge Light Health District said the raccoon was found and tested on Whitney Road in Mystic. Residents are being advised to refrain from feeding or approaching any wild or stray animals at this time.

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Rabies is a deadly virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals including people. It is most commonly spread by wild animals but stray cats or dogs have also been known to become infected and spread the virus, according to public health officials.

Rabies is a virus that lives within the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals, public health officials said. The virus can be spread by scratches from infected animals or by infected salvia that comes into contact with open wounds, breaks in the skin, or through mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose and mouth.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact the Ledge Light Health District at 860-448-4882 or the Groton Animal Control at 860-441-6709.