The Atlantic County Division of Public Health is warning that the year's first case of rabies has been confirmed in Egg Harbor Township.

Rabies Confirmed in Egg Harbor Township

Atlantic County health officials responded to a report that a dog had contact with a rabid raccoon on Wed., Jan 31. The raccoon was found on the 100 block of Asbury Avenue in Harbor Township.

The dog had been brought to a vet for a rabies booster after contact with a raccoon. The raccoon was sent to the state lab for testing.

The dog’s owner had no vaccination records for the dog so it was placed under a four-month confinement. There were no human exposures.

The Risk of Rabies to People

Health officials in Atlantic County want residents to know that rabies can be fatal if left untreated.

The viral disease 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.

What to Do If You Are Bitten By an Animal

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.

Signs That Your Pet Has Been Exposed to Rabies

Pets get rabies by getting bitten by, or coming into contact with the saliva of, an infected animal. Common rabid animals include bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

Experts say that signs of rabies in pets include difficulty swallowing, uncoordinated walking, behavioral changes, lethargy, fever, vomiting, and lack of appetite.

How to Minimize the Risk of Rabies

Atlantic County health officials say you should teach children to stay away from wild, stray, or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.

Make sure trash cans have secure lids to prevent wildlife from foraging for food and don't leave pet food outside. Many animals are also attracted to birdseed.

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.

When to Get a Rabies Vaccine for Your Pet

The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides free rabies vaccination clinics for both dogs and cats by appointment only at The next clinic will be held on Sunday, February 4, 9 am – 12 noon at 240 Old Turnpike in Pleasantville.

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