Thursday, June 2, 2022
The eighth case of rabies in Atlantic County this year has been confirmed in a skunk collected from the 200 block of Pine Avenue in Egg Harbor Township. This is the fourth skunk collected from the township since February that has tested positive for rabies.
An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health identified one potential human exposure in the homeowner who found the dead skunk on his property. The animal was removed by animal control and sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive for rabies on June 1. The homeowner was directed to consult his primary care physician.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. It can be transmitted through direct contact with saliva through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth. Most human cases of rabies are the result of a bite from an infected animal. 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.
A rabies vaccination is recommended for domestic animals to not only protect the pet but also the pet owner and family members who could contract rabies from an infected pet.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter is holding its next monthly free rabies vaccination clinic on Sunday, June 5, 9 AM – 12 noon, for both dogs and cats by appointment only at www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Public health officials also advise residents to teach children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.
Residents should also ensure trash cans have secure lids to prevent wildlife from foraging for food and not leave pet food outside. Many animals are also attracted to bird seed.
If you see wildlife that is behaving strangely, especially nocturnal animals such as skunks and raccoons found during daylight hours, do not approach the animal. Instead, call your local Animal Control Officer. Contact information is available on the county web site at: www.aclink.org/animal-shelter/municipal.asp
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.