New Jersey: Buena Borough horse confirmed positive for rabies

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The Atlantic County Department of Public Health reported a case of rabies in a horse located in Buena Borough. The owner of the horse sought to cure the horse after it was behaving strangely. The horse was taken for treatment and diagnosis but died upon arrival. He was then sent for testing and confirmed for rabies on October 13, 2022.

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Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral infection of the nervous system, and immediate medical attention is required for effective treatment. Rabies is relatively uncommon in horses with only 30-60 cases confirmed each year in the United States

An investigation is underway by the Department of Public Health to determine any exposure to humans, livestock or domestic pets.

This is the 10th confirmed case of rabies this year in Atlantic County. Rabies has previously been confirmed in a groundhog, two raccoons, four skunks, a fox and a cat.

Rabies is transmitted through direct contact with saliva through broken skin or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth. Most cases of human rabies are caused by the bite of an infected animal. If an animal bites you, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention. All bites must be reported to the Atlantic County Department of Public Health at (609) 645-5971.

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Pet rabies vaccination is recommended not only to protect the pet but also to protect the pet owner and family members who may contract rabies from an infected pet.

Public health officials also advise residents to teach children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.

Residents should also ensure that trash cans have secure lids to prevent wildlife from foraging and pet food is not left outside. Many animals are also attracted to bird seed.

If you see wildlife behaving strangely, especially nocturnal animals such as skunks and raccoons that are present during daylight hours, do not approach the animal. Alternatively, contact your local animal control official.



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