Friday, December 1, 2017
Atlantic County’s fourth rabies case of the year has been reported by Atlantic County health officials in a skunk collected from the 100 block of Kennedy Drive in Egg Harbor Township on November 28, 2017.
A property owner reported seeing a skunk in a neighbor’s yard. Later that day the skunk was seen again chasing a neighbor’s dog. The incident was reported to Wildlife Aid which removed the skunk and notified health officials. The skunk was then sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive for rabies on December 1.
The dog was current on its rabies vaccination but was placed under a 45-day informal confinement as per state guidelines. It was also recommended that the dog receive a rabies booster vaccination as an added precaution.
Atlantic County’s previous 2017 rabies cases involved a domestic cat in Egg Harbor Township, a fox in Galloway and a raccoon in Absecon. Atlantic County had a total of 10 rabies cases in 2016 involving 4 raccoons, 3 cats, 2 bats and a skunk. Rabies is a viral disease that is fatal if left untreated. Pet owners are advised to protect their pets with a rabies vaccination.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats once a month at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. The next clinic will be held on Sunday, December 10, 9-11 AM. Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information call (609) 485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Dogs and cats who receive an initial rabies vaccination are not considered immunized until 28 days after the vaccine has been administered, therefore it is strongly recommended that any animal newly vaccinated or those too young to receive the vaccine (less than three months) not be left outdoors unattended. Situations have arisen where pet owners have left unvaccinated or newly vaccinated pets outdoors where they have sustained exposures to known or suspect rabid animals, resulting in euthanasia or four to six months strict confinement.
Public health officials also advise residents to teach your children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.
If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention. Report all animal bites to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971.
For more information about rabies control and precautions to protect your family and your pets, please visit the county web site at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.