READINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – The Hunterdon County Heath Department has issued a public health alert after a cat in Readington Township tested positive for rabies.
The tiger colored young male adult cat tested positive for rabies on March 30 and was in the area of Rockafellow Mills Road and River Avenue, health officials said.
Area residents who may have had contact with this cat any time between March 12 and March 26 should notify their primary care physician immediately to discuss concerns for possible exposure and the need for post exposure prophylaxis treatment, health officials said.
It is important to remember not to pick up stray animals at any time. Saliva from infected animals should be considered infectious, health officials said.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus. The virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by saliva of an open cut or the eyes. The disease is transmitted from animals to human or from animals to other animals. Left untreated, humans can be protected by receiving rabies prophylaxis after exposure.
How can we protect ourselves from rabies?
- Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep vaccinations up-to-date
- Do not feed or touch wild animals
- Avoid contact with strays or pets other than your own
All owners of cats, dogs and livestock should have the vaccination against rabies through their veterinarian or through municipal rabies clinics.
For a listing of upcoming free rabies clinics, visit the Hunterdon County Department of Health info line website.
For more information, call 908-788-1351. After hours and on weekends, call 908-788-1202. To reach the Readington Township Animal Control Officer, Tom Dodd, call 908-722-1271.