Friday, June 20, 2014
The first case of rabies in Northfield this year has been found in a raccoon collected from Walnut Avenue on June 18. This is the sixth case of rabies found in Atlantic County this year and the fourth that has involved a raccoon. Each of the previous cases was found in Egg Harbor Township.
The raccoon was found trying to attack a dog in a fenced in property on Walnut Avenue. The homeowner removed the dog to the house and was able to place a trash can over the raccoon which appeared very weak and lethargic. The homeowner called the local animal control officer who removed the raccoon and subsequently sent it to the New Jersey state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive for rabies.
An investigation by the Division of Public Health has determined that there were no human exposures. The homeowner’s dog is current on its rabies vaccination but will be placed on a 45-day observation due to a possible exposure.
Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond encourages residents to vaccinate their pets to protect them from the potentially deadly virus as well as to provide a barrier to human exposure.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides a free rabies vaccination clinic each month for dogs and cats. The next clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, June 29 at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information call 609-485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. It is most common in raccoons and bats, but has also been found in skunks, foxes, cats, groundhogs and other wildlife in New Jersey.
Atlantic County reported eight positive rabies cases last year - four raccoons, two bats and two cats. Of the five previous cases this year, three involved raccoons, one case involved a skunk and another involved a fox.
To learn more about rabies and how to protect your pets and family members, visit www.aclink.org/publichealth.