OLD BRIDGE — A skunk has tested positive for rabies in Old Bridge, according to the Middlesex County Office of Health Services.

The animal was found near Vail Drive and Hunter Court.

According to county officials, a resident's pet dog attacked and killed a skunk in a back yard on Nov. 13. The animal was then picked up by animal control officers and taken to a state health lab for testing.

Three days later, it was reported the skunk tested positive for rabies. The resident's dog is vaccinated for rabies and its owner has been instructed to take the dog to a veterinarian for follow up care.

The Middlesex County Office of Health Services said residents should report wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior to police. Other tips include:

  • Avoid contact with wild animals and immediately report any bites to the local health department.
  • Be sure all family pets are current on their rabies vaccinations.
  • Animal proof your home and yard and make sure all garbage containers have tight, fitting lids. Do not leave pet food or water outside.
  • Do not feed wild animals.

Rabies is caused by a virus which can infect all warm-blooded animals, including humans. New Jersey is enzootic for raccoon and bat variants of rabies.

This is the seventh rabid animal reported within Middlesex County for 2021 and the first rabid animal in Old Bridge.

According to information on the New Jersey Department of Health's website, there have been 157 total positive cases of rabies in the state so far in 2021.

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