OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported today (May 12) that a raccoon has tested positive for rabies in the town of Volney.
There have been three new cases of rabies confirmed 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, and we are continuing to receive new reports,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “In years past, the rabies virus has 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 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.
“Our staff is available around the clock to respond to such incidents,” said Huang.
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.
The health department will hold its next rabies clinic on June 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the West Monroe Town Highway Garage, 46 County Route 11.
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.
For more information on rabies visit www.oswegocounty.com/health/rabies.pdf or www.cdc.gov/rabies.