EWING HEALTH DEPARTMENT – PRESS RELEASE
The Ewing Township Health Department is issuing a Rabies Alert to residents since there have been five (5) positive rabies cases from wildlife in the area within a span of a month.
Ewing health officials have received notification from state lab results after the testing of wildlife confirmed positive rabies virus in three wildlife animals recently.
The three recent cases of rabies are in addition to the two cases confirmed earlier in the month. The Animal Control Officer responded in all cases and brought the specimen to the State lab for testing.
Within the last two weeks, the following wildlife has been spotted by residents in the following locations:
Raccoon – 522 Howell Avenue (resident spotted a sickly raccoon in back yard)
Fox – 24 Downing Avenue (resident spotted dead Fox in back yard)
Bat – 32 Rebecca Court (resident spotted on porch acting sickly)
In July, the animal control officer responded to 2 resident calls regarding sick raccoons in their yard in the following locations:
117 Palmer Lane & 654 Sullivan Way
In all these cases, there were no human or animal exposures to the animals.
The Ewing Township Health Department is issuing a rabies alert to residents since there have been two positive rabies cases from raccoons in the area recently.
In 2011 there were 257 cases of rabies identified in NJ which included: 184 raccoons, 82 skunks, 36 bats, 22 cats, 7 fox and 9 domestic rabbits. Rabies cases in humans are rare in the U.S. Most are caused by contact with bats or bites from dogs and animals received from other countries.
In NJ, cats account for 90% of the domestic animal rabies cases but dogs, rabbits and other domestic pets can also become infected.
The Ewing Township Health Dept. offers the following advice:
- Pets can get rabies, so protect your dogs and cats by getting them vaccinated and licensed.
- Always keep pets on a leash when outdoors. Prevent pets from running loose so they won’t be exposed to rabies from other animals, especially at night.
- Never touch a wild animal, even if it is injured. Leave wildlife alone. Do not make pets of wild animals or try to “save” baby animals even if they seem abandoned.
- Educate children to stay away from stray animals. Do not pet stray animals even if they are freindly.
- Do not feed or handle stray cats, since cat’s contract rabies six times more often than dogs.
- Keep garbage cans covered with tight lids. Cap all chimneys, which raccoons often use as dens. Keep sheds and garages and other possible animal den sites in good repair.
If bitten by any animal, take a careful look at the animal if it is safe to do so. It is helpful for public health officials to be able to identify the animal.
Immediately wash the animal bite and the area around it thoroughly with soap and water. Promptly call your doctor or go the nearest emergency room.
All animal bites should be immediately reported to: the Ewing Health Dept. at 609-883-2900, ext. 7691 or Police Department at 609-882-1313 as soon as possible.