Wednesday, August 23, 2023
A second bat found in Hamilton Township within the past week has been confirmed for rabies, according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, making it the sixth rabies case of the year in the county.
This bat was collected from the 1100 block of Calhoun Avenue in Mays Landing on August 21 after being found by the homeowner in the residence. The bat was sent to the state lab for testing and was confirmed positive on August 23.
An investigation by public health officials identified two human exposures and one animal exposure in a domestic cat. Public health nurses are advising family members while the cat, which was current with its rabies vaccinations, will be boostered and placed under a 45-day confinement.
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
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.