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Raccoon in Egg Harbor Township tests positive for rabies

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A raccoon that bit a dog in Egg Harbor Township has tested positive for rabies, Atlantic County health officials have confirmed. It is the second rabies case in Atlantic County this year. The first was in Northfield in late April. The raccoon was first seen on the Walnut Avenue property with three dogs earlier this month, according to a witness who notified the resident. One of the homeowner's dog later encountered the raccoon in the backyard. The raccoon ran away and was captured July 20 by Wildlife Aid. A test came back Friday showing it tested positive for rabies. The dog who was bitten is current with its rabies vaccination but received a booster vaccination and was placed under a 45-day informal confinement as a precautionary measure, health officials said. Health officials remind pet owners to keep their dogs and cats up to date with their vaccinations. The Atlantic County Animal Shelter will have its next free rabies vaccination Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the shelter at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. For more information call (609) 485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Last year, the county had four rabies cases: a raccoon, a cat, a skunk and a fox. 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. 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. Report all animal bites to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971. For more information about rabies control and precautions, visit the county website at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.
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Lynda Cohen

BreakingAC founder who previously worked in newspapers for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

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