For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Rabies Confirmed in Egg Harbor Township Raccoon
A raccoon collected from a property in the one hundred block of Perry Lane in Egg Harbor Township on October 8 has been confirmed positive for rabies by the state lab, according to officials from the Atlantic County Division of Public Health.
The homeowner contacted the Division of Public Health with concern about the possible exposure of his two dogs after they confronted a raccoon in his back yard.
An investigation by the Division of Public Health found that both dogs were current on their vaccinations. As a precaution they were placed under an informal 45-day confinement and both given booster rabies vaccinations. There were no human exposures.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Health officials said it is most common in raccoons and bats, but has also been found in foxes, skunks, cats, groundhogs and other wildlife in New Jersey. Atlantic County reported 12 cases of rabies in 2011 that included nine raccoons, two bats and one groundhog. This is the third case of 2012. Prior cases involved a raccoon in Estell Manor and a bat in Northfield.
Health officials remind residents about the importance of vaccinating their pets to protect them from rabies. The Atlantic County Animal Shelter offers a free rabies vaccination clinic to residents each month at 240 Old Turnpike Road, Pleasantville. The next clinic will be held on Sunday, October 14 from 10 AM to 12 noon. Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information, call (609) 485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
If you have been bitten or exposed to an animal through a scratch or had any contact with the animalís saliva, you should seek immediate medical attention and report the bite to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health by calling 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.
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