Gloucester Twp., NJ (CBS) – A bat removed from a home in Berlin Township has tested positive for rabies. The family has been advised to seek rabies prophylaxis.

The family became aware of a bat in their residence and subsequently killed the animal on the night of September 14. The Camden County Communicable Disease Unit submitted the bat to the NJDHSS laboratory in Trenton for rabies testing.  Five days later, the Camden County Health Department was notified by the NJDHSS that the animal was rabid.

“Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Health Department. “If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention.”

The family has been notified, and the members exposed to the bat have been advised to seek rabies prophylaxis. The family’s dog and three cats have been seen by a veterinarian.

Rodriguez urged county residents protect themselves, their families, and their pets from rabies by observing a few simple rules, including acting responsibly as a pet owner:

  1. Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets.
  1. Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals.  If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.
  1. Contact your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.  They may be unvaccinated and could be infected by the disease.

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