Wednesday, June 10, 2015
A bat collected from a property on Liverpool Avenue in Egg Harbor City has tested positive for rabies becoming the third known case of rabies in the county this year, all of which have involved bats, according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health.
The latest bat was discovered on the property by its owner on June 7. It was then sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive for rabies on June 10.
The owner’s dog is current on its rabies vaccination but will receive a booster vaccination as a precautionary measure and be placed under a 45-day observation period.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be 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 each month for dogs and cats. The next one will be held on Sunday, June 28 from 9 AM to 11 AM 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.
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. Keep your pet on a leash. Do not allow your pet to roam where it could come in contact with rabid wildlife.
Rabies is most common in raccoons and bats, but has also been found in skunks, foxes, cats, groundhogs and other wildlife in New Jersey. According to the American Humane Society, rabies is most prevalent along the East Coast from Florida to Maine.
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.
To learn more about bats in New Jersey, visit: www.nj.gov/health/cd/rabies/documents/shouldknow_bats.pdf