One rabid raccoon comes from Point Pleasant Beach & the other from Point Pleasant Borough
For the second time in a month, wildlife in Ocean County has turned up positive for rabies. Two raccoons tested positive after more than a dozen raccoons were captured by animal control over the last week. Additional animals from that group are being tested with results still pending.
“The OCHD wants to remind people to stay away from any wildlife that may appear to be sick or acting strangely,” said Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “It’s so important to remain vigilant especially in the warmer months when the potential for wildlife interactions with humans increase. It can be tempting to try and help a wild animal that may appear in distress, injured – or even uncommonly friendly. However, a person should always contact animal control or the police and never approach a wild animal demonstrating those signs.”
During spring and summer mammals may prefer to build their den’s or shelters close to our homes, playgrounds, schools and neighborhoods. And while there is still no cure for rabies, the good news is that human infection is extremely rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there are typically only about 1 to 3 cases of rabies documented in humans each year. The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) estimates that approximately 2,500 people in New Jersey receive rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), due to exposure to known or suspect rabid animals.
While any mammal can contract rabies, 2 of the most common carriers in Ocean County in the past have been bats and raccoons. Back in mid-June, a fox from Jackson tested positive after demonstrating aggressive behavior and bit a resident. Last year in Ocean County there were 2 cases of animals that tested positive for rabies. Both of those animals were raccoons.
“Not only do we have to protect ourselves from rabies, we need to protect our pets and to insure they are up-to-date with their rabies inoculations,” added Ocean County Commissioner Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “The Ocean County Animal Facilities holds free rabies clinics every other Wednesday by appointment only. Due to the pandemic many people may have skipped getting their pet vaccinated but if they did now is definitely a good time to make an appointment.”
The Northern Ocean County Animal Facility is located at 615 Freemont Avenue in Jackson. To make a rabies vaccine appointment please call 732-657-8086. The Southern Ocean County Animal Facility is located at 360 Haywood Road in Manahawkin. The number is 609-978-0127.
The animal facilities are open 7 days a week for adoptions, reclaims and surrenders by appointment only.
Keep in mind some of the following tips outlined below you can use in an effort to protect and limit your family and pets from those unwanted wildlife interactions and any potential rabies exposure:
What to do if you are bitten by an animal:
For more information regarding rabies please visit www.ochd.org or www.state.nj.us. You can also follow the Ocean County Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook. Download the Ocean County Health Department mobile app free from the Google Play/Android and Apple APP stores.