EHT raccoon is Atlantic County’s first rabies case of year

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A raccoon found in Egg Harbor Township is the first confirmed rabies case in Atlantic County this year.

Health officials were notified after a dog was taken to the vet for a rabies booster following what was described as “contact with a raccoon.”

The raccoon collected from the 100 block of Asbury Avenue, and tested positive Wednesday.

The county had nine confirmed cases last year: three raccoons, three bats, two skunks and one cat.

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 on Old Turnpike in Pleasantville offers free rabies vaccination clinics monthly by appointment.

The next one is from 9 a.m. to noon this Sunday. Appointments may be made at www.aclink.org/animalshelter.

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.

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