Rabid fox found in Egg Harbor Township; fifth case of 2014

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EGG HARBOR TOWNHIP – Rabies has been confirmed in a fox that was found on a Devonshire Drive property in Egg Harbor Township.

This is Atlantic County’s fifth case of rabies this year, all of which have been found in Egg Harbor Township, according to the Atlantic County Health Department.

The property owner’s dog found the fox May 7; the fox appeared to be in a deteriorated state.

It was removed and sent to the state lab for testing, where it was confirmed positive for rabies on May 9.

An investigation by the Division of Public Health determined that there were no human exposures. The homeowner’s dog is current on its rabies vaccination, but will be placed under a 45-day observation period as a result of possible exposure.

Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond encourages residents to vaccinate their pets to protect them from the potentially deadly virus as well as to provide a barrier to human exposure.

Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. It is most common in raccoons and bats, but has also been found in skunks, foxes, cats, groundhogs and other wildlife in New Jersey. Atlantic County reported eight positive rabies cases last year – four raccoons, two bats and two cats. Of the four previous cases this year, three involved raccoons and one case involved a skunk.

The Atlantic County Animal Shelter, at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville, provides a free rabies vaccination clinic each month for dogs and cats. For more information call 609-485-2345 or see www.aclink.org/animalshelter.                     

To learn more about rabies and how to protect your pets and family members, see www.aclink.org/publichealth.

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