Several Wild Animals Found to Carry Rabies in Moorestown
The Burlington County Health Department advises residents to keep their distance from wild and stray animals.
Several wild animals captured in Moorestown over the last several months have tested positive for rabies, the Health Department announced Wednesday afternoon.
Rabies is a fatal viral disease that affects the brain. The rabies virus lives in the saliva of infected animals.
It is spread from a bite or when saliva from an infected animal touches broken skin, open wounds or the lining of the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Rabies in certain animals, especially wildlife, is common in New Jersey.
To protect yourself against rabies:
• Do not touch or feed wild animals, or stray dogs or cats.
• Keep garbage in tightly sealed containers.
• Stay away from any animal that is behaving aggressively or a wild animal that appears ill or is acting unusually friendly. Call your local animal control officer or police department to report the animal.
• If you find a bat indoors that may have had contact with someone, don’t release it before calling animal control or the police to determine whether it should be tested.
• Check the status of your pets’ rabies vaccine. Have your pet receive a rabies booster if it spends time outdoors, outside of your supervision and has not received its latest rabies shot within the last 3 months.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal:
• Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and water.
• Seek medical care from your health care provider.
• If the animal is a pet, get the owner’s name, address and telephone number to give to the Health Department so they can ensure the animal is not rabid.
• For information about medical follow-up, call your medical provider.
For more information or concerns, contact the Health Department at 609-265-5548.
For additional information, on rabies see: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.