Rabid bat confirmed in South Brunswick, 7th case in county in 2018

BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | MonroeNow | Jun 20, 2018

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Township health officials confirmed that a bat found in a resident’s home near Brook Drive and Spruce Lane on June 17 tested positive for rabies, according to a public health notice released on Wednesday.

This is the seventh reported case in Middlesex County this year and the first in South Brunswick. The previous cases have involved raccoons.

As with previous cases, confirmation of rabies was verified by the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory.

The rabid bat was not alive when it was reported to authorities.

“The South Brunswick Health Department continues to monitor rabies cases within the municipality,” according to a notice posted on the township’s website.

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 bite, or possibly by contamination of an open cut. New Jersey is enzootic for raccoon and bat variants of rabies. Bats, skunks, groundhogs, foxes, cats and dogs represent about 95% of animals diagnosed with rabies in the Unites States.

Some signs that an animal may have rabies include: moving slowly, may act as if tame, appear sick, has problems swallowing, has an increase in saliva, has increased drooling, acts aggressive, difficulty moving, has paralysis and bites at everything if excited.

The county’s first 2018 confirmed rabies case was in Monroe on Feb. 5. That case involved a raccoon. Monroe’s animal control officer responded to the area of Spotswood Gravel Hill Road and Garvey Drive for a report that a resident’s dog killed a raccoon.