EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is reporting that a bat tested positive for rabies in East Brunswick, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of Route 18 and Milltown Road.
This is the fourth rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2015 and the second rabid animal reported in East Brunswick.
On Sunday, August 16, 2015, an East Brunswick resident found a bat which was acting lethargic in their backyard. The bat died and was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory for testing. It was reported on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, that the animal tested positive for rabies. In attempting to care for the animal one resident was bitten by the bat and another resident was exposed to the bat. They were notified to consult with a physician regarding their exposure during the incident. Additionally, a Middlesex County Office of Health Services’ Registered Environmental Health Specialist will be distributing rabies fact sheets within the area.
The Middlesex County Office of Health Services continues to monitor rabies cases within the municipality. Residents should report wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior to the Police Department. Additionally, it is recommended that residents should avoid contact with wild animals and immediately report any bites from wild or domestic animals to your local health department and consult a physician as soon as possible. Finally, be sure that all family pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations and licenses.
Rabies is caused by a virus which can infect all warm-blooded mammals, including man. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by contamination of an open cut. New Jersey is enzootic for raccoon and bat variants of rabies. Bats, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, foxes, cats, and dogs represent about 95% of animals diagnosed with rabies in the United States.