Friday, August 13, 2021
Two cases of rabies have been confirmed in Mullica Township, according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health.
A homeowner in the 3300 block of Moores Avenue found a fox fighting with his dog in the backyard on August 5 and on August 6 a feral cat in distress was found in the 4900 block of Moss Mill Road. Both animals were sent to the state lab for testing where they were later confirmed positive for rabies.
An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health has determined no known human exposures in the case involving the fox, however the homeowner’s dog, that was previously vaccinated, received a vaccination booster shot and has been placed under a 45-day informal confinement as a precautionary measure.
Two individuals who found the feral cat were advised to speak with their healthcare providers about the potential need for post-exposure treatment. An investigation is ongoing to determine if there were any animal exposures.
These two cases represent the fourth and fifth in Atlantic County this year. Previous cases have included two bats and a raccoon.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated.
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 holds free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs and cats each month. The next scheduled clinic is Sunday, August 15, 9 AM – 12 noon, for cats only, by appointment. (The clinic for dogs was held August 1). 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.