Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rabid Skunk Confirmed As County's First Rabies Case of 2014

Credit: Press of AC
A rabid skunk was recently collected from a property on Betsy Scull Road in Egg Harbor Township, making it the first confirmed case of rabies in Atlantic County this year.

The homeowner contacted the local Animal Control Officer after a dog she was pet sitting encountered a skunk in the backyard and killed it. The skunk was sent to the state lab for testing and was confirmed positive for rabies.
An investigation by the Division of Public Health determined that the dog was current with its rabies vaccination. As a precautionary measure, the dog received a rabies booster and will be closely monitored for 45 days.

Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. It is most common in raccoons and bats, but has also been found in skunks, foxes, cats, groundhogs and other wildlife in New Jersey.

Atlantic County reported eight positive rabies cases last year, four of which were raccoons, two bats and two cats.

Residents who find a wild or stray animal on their property should leave it alone until an animal control officer, police officer or other responder arrives on the scene to capture and/or remove it.

“Thankfully, this dog was current with its rabies vaccination,” stated Patricia Diamond, Atlantic County Public Health Officer. “It is extremely important to vaccinate your pets to protect them as well as to provide a barrier to human exposure.”


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