Thursday, April 19, 2012
Rabies Confirmed in Northfield Bat
A bat collected from a Northfield property on Juniper Drive 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 dog after the dog found a dead bat in his back yard on April 16. The bat was promptly removed and sent for testing.
An investigation by the Division of Public Health found that the dog, a 4 month old Labrador, had been recently vaccinated. As a precaution the dog received a booster shot and was placed under a 45-day confinement. 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 second case of 2012. The first case involved a raccoon in Estell Manor.
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, April 22 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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