Thursday, July 22, 2021
Two Buena Borough residents were exposed to a bat that has been confirmed positive for rabies.
An animal control officer was called to a residence in the 200 block of Wheat Road on July 15 after one of the occupants had been bitten on the hand by a bat. The bat was collected and sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive for rabies on July 21.
An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health has determined a second occupant was also exposed to the bat. Both individuals have begun post exposure rabies treatment as rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated.
This is the third case of rabies in Atlantic County this year and the second involving a bat.
Public health officials 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. All bites should be reported to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at (609) 645-5971.
Residents are also reminded that rabies vaccinations are important not only to provide protection for pets, but to also help protect the pet owner and their family members from contracting the disease from an infected pet.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter is holding its next free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs on Sunday, August 1 and for cats on Sunday, August 15, 9 AM – 12 noon each day, by appointment. Appointments can be made online at www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Dogs and cats that 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.
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.