Oswego County Health Department Reports Two More Cases of Rabies

OSWEGO – The Oswego County Health Department today (Aug. 1) reported two new cases of rabies in Oswego County.

A raccoon in the city of Oswego and a skunk in the town of Schroeppel have tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon was located on East Fourth Street in Oswego, in the neighborhood of Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

The skunk was found near county Route 54 in Schroeppel.

The health department will hold its next rabies clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the Bristol Hill Landfill maintenance garage, 3125 state Route 3, Volney.

There have been five new cases of rabies diagnosed in Oswego County over the past few weeks.

The incidents are being investigated by the Oswego County Health Department.

“The rabies virus is widespread in Oswego County and across the region this summer, and we are continuing to receive new reports,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director. “Historically, in years past, the rabies virus appeared in every town, village and city across the county. People should make sure that their pets are properly vaccinated and take precautions against rabies.”
To reduce the risk of rabies in animals and humans, people can take the following steps:
–    Make sure that dogs, cats and pet ferrets have current rabies vaccines. The rabies vaccination is the most effective way of protecting pets and humans from rabies.
–    Do not feed pets outdoors.
–    Never try to feed a wild animal.
–    Do not approach or touch unfamiliar animals.
–    Avoid any animal with symptoms of rabies.
–    Block any openings into the home that an animal may get through.
–    Keep tamper-proof lids on outside garbage cans so animals are not attracted to your property.
–    Teach children basic rules about protecting themselves from strange and unfamiliar animals.

Huang said that any time a person or pet is bitten by a domestic or wild animal, and any time that a person or pet comes in physical contact with a bat or a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be immediately reported to the County Health Department.

To report a possible exposure, call the Health Department weekdays at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564.

In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 341-0086.

Dogs, cats and ferrets should receive their first rabies vaccine at three months of age.

Ferrets must be vaccinated annually. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter.

In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that their pet was previously vaccinated.

Owners should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate with them to the clinic.

The health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics, but no one will be turned away.

Dogs should be leashed. Cats and pet ferrets should be in a carrier. Please leave sick pets at home.

Clinics will be held at these locations during the summer and fall:
–    Parish: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 24 Dill Pickle Alley.
–    Pulaski: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
–    Scriba: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.

For more information on rabies visit www.oswegocounty.com/health/rabies.pdf  or www.cdc.gov/rabies.