Atlantic County, New Jersey has its 11th case of rabies in 2022, with a Somers Point raccoon found on Bala Drive.

This is Atlantic County’s 3rd rabid raccoon of 2022. The other 8 cases involved four skunks and one each: horse, groundhog, fox, and cat.

The recent Somers Point raccoon was found by the homeowner, who reported it to wildlife authorities. The raccoon appeared to be sick and died a short while later.

The raccoon sample was sent to the New Jersey state lab for testing. The results came back positive on November 16, 2022.

The Atlantic County Division of Public Health has conducted its own investigation and has concluded that there has not been any human contact with the Somers Point raccoon.

The County of Atlantic has shared this important message:

Rabies is a viral disease that 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.

If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediatel 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 county of Atlantic also recommends rabies vaccinations for all of your domestic pets. It is important because it protects them and protects humans.

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The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides free rabies vaccination clinics each month for both dogs and cats by appointment only at www.aclink.org/animalshelter. The next clinic will be held on Sunday, December 4, from 10 am – 12 noon at 240 Old Turnpike in Pleasantville.

The Atlantic County health officials also urge adults to teach children to not touch animals in the wild. Never try to keep them as pets.

Many wild animals are attracted to trash cans, that do not have secure lids, and also bird feeders.

Another important reminder is the fact that if you see nocturnal animals such as skunks or raccoons during the daylight hours, many times they are rabid.

Contact information is available on the Atlantic County website at:

aclink.org

For more information about rabies control and information to protect you, your family, and pets, visit the Atlantic County website at aclink.org/publichealth or call (609) 645-5971.

SOURCE: Linda Gilmore, Atlantic County Public Information Officer.

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