OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported today (April 28) that a bat has tested positive for rabies in the village of Mexico. This is the second case of rabies confirmed this year.
“Bats are a common carrier of rabies,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “Although they rarely attack humans, bats may transmit the disease through any physical contact. If a bat is found indoors with a sleeping person or an unattended child or pet, people should try to capture and confine it for testing. Our staff is available around the clock to respond to such incidents.”
Residents are reminded to keep their pets’ vaccinations up-to-date and take precautions against rabies.
Huang said, “New York State Public Health Law requires that all pet dogs, cats, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The health department runs immunization clinics throughout the year to help meet this need in the community and I encourage residents to take advantage of these clinics to get their pets vaccinated.”
The health department will hold its next rabies clinic on May 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Oswego County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road, Pulaski.
Owners should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate with them to the clinic.
Pets should receive their first rabies vaccine at three months of age.
Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first and every three years thereafter.
Owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated in order for pets to receive the three-year booster shot.
Ferrets must be vaccinated annually.
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 and cats and ferrets should be in a carrier.
Please leave sick pets at home.
Any time a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be reported to the county health department as soon as possible.
A bite or scratch on the skin should be washed immediately with soap and water.
To reduce the risk of rabies in animals and humans, people should take the following steps:
• Make sure that dogs, cats and 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.
To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 315-341-0086.
For more information visit www.oswegocounty.com/health/rabies.pdf or facebook.com/Oswegocountyhealth/