News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners
Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director | Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director
Melonie Marano, Commissioner | Paul Drake, Commissioner | Doug Singleterry, Commissioner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2021
Somerset County Department of Health Warns of Rabid Skunk Found in Bedminster
BEDMINSTER, NJ – The Somerset County Department of Health (SCDOH) is warning residents that a skunk found in Bedminster near the area of Holland Road and Old Dutch Road has tested positive for rabies.
On Sept. 27, a resident’s dog was sprayed by a rabid skunk and the dog killed the skunk. The skunk was subsequently picked up by Animal Control Solutions and was sent to the public health laboratory at the New Jersey Department of Health where the skunk tested positive for rabies. As required by law, the dog was vaccinated for rabies and is currently in quarantine for 45-days.
According to the New Jersey State Department of Health, only one skunk has tested positive for rabies in the state between January and June of this year.
Residents who see an animal acting strangely should stay away and call their local police department or local health department. “If you are bitten or attacked by an animal, do not delay in reporting it to the health authorities,” said Somerset County Health Officer Dr. Namitha Reddy. “If not treated immediately, rabies is a serious illness that can be fatal in humans.”
Rabies is preventable with prompt medical attention. People can get rabies through animal bites or when the saliva of an infected animal enters the body through cuts or scratches. Anyone who is bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal – including stray dogs and cats – should promptly wash the area with soap and water and immediately seek medical attention. If a pet is bitten or scratched, take it to a vet promptly. Report the incident immediately to the police and the local health department. To obtain contact information for local health departments, visit http://bit.ly/MunicHealth
To protect pets from rabies, pet owners must ensure pets receive rabies vaccinations on a regular basis and that their pets’ vaccinations are current. When rabies clinics are scheduled in Somerset County, the information can be found at http://bit.ly/HealthCalendar. The list of rabies clinic dates is updated as dates and times are provided to the SCDOH. Residents can also ask their veterinarian for information.
For more information about rabies, visit the New Jersey Department of Health website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/rabies.shtml