SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A ground hog found on Vincent Avenue in Brunswick Acres is the second diseased animal discovered there in the last four days, police said Tuesday.

According to police, the ground hog tested positive for rabies by the New Jersey Health Department on June 28.

A bat from Oakey Drive also tested positive on June 24, about half to three quarters of a mile away from the ground hog in the Kendall park section of the township, police said.

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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, according to a Middlesex County press release.

Raccoon and bat variants of rabies are constantly present in New Jersey.

Of the animals diagnosed with rabies in the United States, bats, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, foxes, cats and dogs make up about 95 percent.

The Middlesex County Office of Health Services advises residents to report wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior to their local Animal Control Officer.

Contact with wild animals should be avoided and any bites or scratches from wild or domestic animals should be immediately reported to the local health department.

A physician should also be consulted as soon as possible, according to the county health agency. All family pets should be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations and licenses.

The Health Department reminds all residents to:

Vaccinate all pets against rabies and keep vaccinations current.

Never feed or touch wild animals and avoid contact with stray pets.

Contact the Health Dept. if your pet comes in contact with a wild animal.

Report unusual behavior of stray or wild animals to South Brunswick Animal Control.

Immediately report any bite from wildlife as well from domestic pets to the South Brunswick Health Department 732-329-4000 ext. 7237 during business hours or to the South Brunswick Police 732-329-4646 nights, weekends, and holidays.

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