In recent years, rabies has resurfaced in New Jersey.
It is now considered endemic (always present in low levels) in wildlife
in Atlantic County, especially in raccoons and bats. It has also
been found in foxes, domestic cats, groundhogs, and other animals.
If a human contracts this disease, it is considered one hundred percent
fatal if left untreated. Anyone who has been bitten by or exposed
to a potentially rabid animal should call their doctor and Division
of Public Health IMMEDIATELY at (609) 645-5971 during business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or (609) 909-7200 after hours and on weekends
and holidays. Speakers are available to make presentations to schools
and civic groups about this subject.
Health officials advise residents to take the following precautions to protect their families and their pets from rabies:
Make sure your dog or cat’s rabies vaccination is current.
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 six months strict confinement. The Atlantic County Animal Shelter holds a free clinic each month. Please call (609) 485-2345 for more information.
Keep your pet on a leash. Do not allow your pet to roam; it can come in contact with rabid wildlife.
Teach your children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals.
Never feed or touch wild animals, especially bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, or groundhogs. Do not try to keep these animals 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.
Click on the following links for more information about Rabies in Atlantic County: