Monday, August 21, 2023
The Atlantic County Division of Public Health has reported the fifth case of rabies in the county this year with the confirmation of a bat on August 18. Rabies was previously confirmed in a cat, two raccoons and a skunk.
The bat was found on August 16 by a resident in the 4800 block of Bala Court in Hamilton Township. The bat was sent to the state lab for testing where it tested positive for rabies.
An investigation by public health officials found four individuals and three cats resided at the home. One individual is receiving post exposure treatment and three others were urged to seek medical attention. Each of the three cats will be under confinement for 45 days to four months depending on their vaccination history.
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.
Rabies is 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.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides free rabies vaccination clinics each month for both dogs and cats by appointment only at www.aclink.org/animalshelter. The next clinic will be held on Sunday, September 10, 9 am – 12 noon, at 240 Old Turnpike in Pleasantville.
Public health officials 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 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