For immediate release by:
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer
Middlesex County Public Health Department
September 8, 2010    
John Dowd, HERC
Middlesex County Public Health Department


Rabies Advisory – September 8, 2010

Middlesex County Public Health Department is reporting that a bat tested positive for rabies in North Brunswick, Middlesex County, in the vicinity of Adams Lane and Route 130.

This is the fourteenth rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2010 and the first rabid animal reported in the municipality of North Brunswick.

On September 5, 2010, the North Brunswick Animal Control Officer responded to a report that a live bat was found in a township resident’s apartment.  The bat was subsequently captured by the Animal Control Officer and sent to the New Jersey State Department of Health Laboratory for testing.  It was reported today that the animal tested positive for rabies.

The Middlesex County Public Health Department recommends that when live or dead bats are found in the living spaces of homes, residents notify the local Health Department office and Animal Control Officer.  The resident was advised to speak to a physician regarding possible exposure to the animal.  Additionally, the department is distributing rabies advisory flyers and fact sheets in the area.

The Middlesex County Public Health Department continues to monitor rabies cases within the County.  Residents should report wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior to their local Animal Control Officer.  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.

Rabies Prevention Guidelines

The Middlesex County Public Health Department is advising residents to follow these guidelines in order to prevent rabies from being transmitted to themselves or their pets:

Residents should avoid any contact with the animal and call your local animal control officer or local police department.