(Toms River) – The Ocean County Health Department today is reporting that 2 more raccoons have tested positive for rabies in Point Pleasant Borough. Just over a week ago one raccoon turned up positive in Point Pleasant Borough and another from Point Pleasant Beach. The new cases are from a population of other raccoons captured by animal control that were demonstrating symptoms of the deadly disease. The raccoons were captured on Ocean Avenue near Fleming Avenue.
The latest positive cases bring the total number of rabid animals captured in the county this summer to 5. 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. One animal was a raccoon and the other a bat.
Residents should follow some of the tips outlined below in an effort to protect and limit your family and pets from unwanted wildlife interactions and any potential rabies exposure:
• Animal-proof your house and yard. Make sure all garbage is stored in animal-resistant containers.
• Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter for bats and squirrels.
• Vaccinate your cat or dog against rabies. Unvaccinated pets can contract rabies from wildlife and can transfer the disease to humans. These are safe and effective vaccines to protect our personal pets such as dogs, cats and horses and farm animals like cattle, sheep and many others.
• Never try to pet or approach a wild animal – even if it appears curious or friendly.
What to do if you are bitten by an animal:
• Try and learn as much as you can about the animal. If it’s a known pet with a tag, contact the owner. If it’s a stray or wild animal, try to remember the last location you saw the animal and any distinguishing features or behavior that may be able to assist animal control officers in identifying and capturing the animal.
• Wash your wound immediately with plenty of soap and water.
• Contact your healthcare provider or hospital emergency department for care and consultation regarding the need for rabies preventative treatment.
• Report the incident to the OCHD at 732-341-9700 ext. 7515.
To make a rabies vaccine appointment for your cat or dog, please call the Northern Ocesan County Animal Facility at 732-657-8086 or the Southern Ocean County Animal Facility at 609-978-0127. Free rabies clinics are held every other Wednesday at each facility.
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.