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Feral cat who bit Pleasantville resident tests positive for rabies

L C

  • Health

A feral cat taken in by a Pleasantville homeowner has tested positive for rabies.

It is the third confirmed case in Atlantic County this year.

The cat appeared ill and was taken in by a homeowner in the 100 block of Bayview Avenue, officials said

An animal control officer collected the cat Friday, with state lab testing confirming rabies Thursday.

An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health found five other cats in the home that may have been exposed. The homeowner is receiving post-exposure rabies treatment.

Rabies can be 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.

Anyone bitten by an animal should 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.

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

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.

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.

A rabies vaccination is recommended for domestic animals to not only protect the pet but also the pet owner and family members who could contract rabies from an infected pet.

The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides free rabies vaccination clinics for both dogs and cats by appointment only. The next clinic will be held on from 9 a.m. to noon April 7 at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. Visit www.aclink.org/animal-shelter for more information.

For more information about rabies control and precautions to take, visit the county website at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
STEWARTVILLE
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