A dead bat found in a Galloway Township home has tested positive for rabies – the fourth animal in Atlantic County to test positive for the disease this year.

The bat was found in a home on the 300 block of Ridgewood Avenue inside a laundry basket on Friday, according to the Atlantic County Department of Health.

Three people who handled laundry in the home are receiving post-exposure treatment.

Rabies can be fatal if left untreated.

County Health Officer Patricia Diamond said in a statement residents should not handle animals from the wild nor keep them as pets. Pets should also get rabies.

For more information about rabies control and precautions to protect your family and your pets, visit the county Web site at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.

--Joel Landau