Rabies was confirmed in a bat in Pleasantville, the Atlantic County Division of Public Health said Tuesday.
It’s the second case of the viral disease reported in the county this year, and a reminder of why it’s important to vaccinate pets against the disease that can be fatal to animals and humans.
“By keeping your pets up to date with their rabies vaccination, you can help prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife and transmitting it to your family members,” Atlantic County Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond said.
The animal was collected from a home in the 100 block of West Reading Avenue, according to the county.
Animal Control was called to the property Friday after a resident found the bat in a bedroom. The bat was sent to the state lab, where it tested positive for rabies Monday.
One person and several animals may have been exposed to the disease, according to the county. The individual was advised to consult with a physician about post-exposure rabies treatment.
One dog that had been vaccinated was placed under a 45-day informal confinement as a precaution, while another dog and cat were placed under a four-month informal confinement due to incomplete vaccination records.
The year’s previous positive case involved a raccoon found in the 500 block of Delaware Avenue in Absecon in March.
In 2018, Atlantic County had a total of three rabies cases involving two raccoons and a bat.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats once a month at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. The next clinic will be from 9 to 11 a.m. July 14. Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information, call 609-485-2345 or visit aclink.org/animalshelter.
Dogs and cats are not considered immunized until 28 days after the vaccine has been administered. 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 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. All bites should be reported to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971.