SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The seventh rabid bat in Middlesex County this year was found on Sunday night.

South Brunswick police said in an alert that the bat was found in a home near Brook Drive and Spruce Lane. The New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory found the bat tested positive for rabies. It is the first rabid animal found in the township this year.

Residents were warned to avoid contact with wild animals, and should report any that show signs of unusual behavior.

The South Brunswick Department of Health offered guidelines to prevent the spread of rabies:

1. Immediately report a bite from a wild or domestic animal to your local health department.

  • Wash animal bite wounds thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after the bite.
  • Contamination of open cuts or scratches with saliva of potentially rabid animals should also be washed off immediately.
  • Consult a physician as soon as possible.

2. Immediately report any wild animal showing signs of unusual behavior.

Signs of unusual animal behavior could be that the animal may:

  • Move slowly and may act as if it is tame
  • Appear sick and have problems swallowing
  • Have an increase of saliva and increased drooling
  • Act aggressive and have difficulty moving
  • Have paralysis and bite at everything if excited
  • Residents should avoid any contact with the animal and call the Animal Control Officer or Police Dispatch.

3. Be sure that all family pets are up to date on their rabies vaccination.

If unsure please call your veterinarian.

Call your local health department for free rabies vaccination clinic availability.

4. Animal-proof your home and yard.

Make sure all garbage containers have tight-fitting lids, do not leave pet food or water outside, do not allow rainwater to collect in outdoor containers or equipment, and keep yards free of garbage and debris.

5. Do not feed or handle wild animals.

6. Avoid contact with stray animals, or pets other than your own.

7. Try to prevent your pets from coming into contact with wild animals.

8. Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter for bats.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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