Rabies and Zoonosis Control
Each year the Cumberland County Health Department investigates approximately 175 incidents where humans were potentially exposed to the rabies virus. Some of the incidents are animal biting humans and others are just humans handling sick or injured animals. Once the Health Department is notified we reach out to the animal’s owner to see if the animal has received a rabies vaccination in the past. If no owner can be identified, we notify the local animal control officer. Once we have the animal’s vaccination history, we can notify the injured or affected person so that they can consult with their physician for the proper course of treatment. If no vaccination history is available, the animal is quarantined for a period for observation. For more information, contact Tabitha Dilks at 856-327-7602 ext. 7121.
In conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health and the local municipalities, the Cumberland County Health Department offers free rabies vaccinations to the public. The clinics are held on Saturdays in the early spring between February and April. Check our main web page for the most up-to-date clinic schedule.
Kennels, Pet Shops, Shelters and Pound Inspections
There are eight different facilities with our jurisdiction that fall in to this category. The Health Department uses N.J.A.C. 8:23A-1, the Regulations for the Sanitary Operations of Kennels, Pet Shops, Shelters and Pounds to determine safe and sanitary housing and handling of animals. For more information, contact Nina Paulaitis at 856-327-7602 ext. 7139.
West Nile Virus
Historically the Cumberland County Health Department collected dead birds that are in the Corvid family (crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers). The birds were sent to the New Jersey Department of Health laboratory for testing to determine the prevalence of the West Nile Virus in our area. In 2016 the State has determined that “dead birds and positive WNV laboratory results from birds were once early indicators of WNV activity in an area, WNV is now considered endemic to the New Jersey bird and mosquito populations. This means we expect to see WNV in birds and mosquitoes from all localities of the state each year. Additionally, it is thought that some birds have adapted to the virus and may not always become clinically ill and we may find human cases before avian cases.” Therefore we are no longer collecting dead birds.
Unusual Wildlife Activity or Death
The Cumberland County Health Department is not the lead agency for unusual wildlife activity or death though we do occasionally become involved in the investigation through one of our other programs. If you see a wildlife animal acting unusual or a large number of wildlife animals dead in one area, we recommend that you contact the New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife at 1-877-927-6337.