Rabies Prevention

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The Health Department monitors the local animal population to prevent the spread of rabies in the community by:

  • Working with St. Hubert's Animal Services to provide residents with access to rabies vaccination clinics and events
  • Working with volunteers and organizations to control the local feral cat population through Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release (TNVR) events
  • Requiring annual licenses for dogs and cats, including a valid rabies vaccination.

According to the CDC, "Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms."

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program, "The majority of human rabies cases acquired in the United States are from bat exposures. However, all mammals are susceptible to all variants of the rabies virus."

For more information refer to the NJ DOH Rabies Fact Sheet.