Wednesday, June 9, 2021
A bat collected from the 400 block of S. Nectar Avenue in Galloway was confirmed positive for rabies on June 9, the second rabies case in Atlantic County this year. The first case involved a raccoon in Port Republic.
The Galloway homeowner was alerted by his barking dog of a bat in the backyard that appeared disoriented and ill. The bat was removed and sent to the state lab for testing.
An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health determined there were no known human exposures. The pet dog is current on its rabies vaccination but was given a booster and placed under a 45-day informal confinement as a precautionary measure.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Officials remind residents that rabies vaccinations are important not only for the pet but to also 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 cats on Sunday, June 13 and for dogs on Sunday, July 11, 9 AM – 12 noon each day, by appointment. Appointments can be made online at www.aclink.org/animal-shelter.
Dogs and cats who 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.
Public health officials also 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.
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.