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First 2015 Laboratory Confirmed Case of Animal Rabies

Identified in Niagara County

Author: Anonym/Wednesday, April 29, 2015/Categories: Health

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The Niagara County Department of Health has been notified that a raccoon submitted for rabies testing from East Avenue in the Town of Hartland was positive for rabies. This is the first rabid animal confirmed in the County in 2015. One dog was reported to have fought with the raccoon and killed it. As rabies season basically starts with the onset of warmer weather, the Niagara County Department of Health would like to remind County residents of the following precautions to prevent exposure to rabies from wildlife and domestic animals:

1.      Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or feral cats.

2.      Be sure your dogs and cats are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccinated pets serve as a buffer between rabid wildlife and man. Protect them, and you may reduce your risk of exposure to rabies. Dogs and cats that receive rabies vaccine after three months of age are protected for a one year period. Revaccinations are effective for up to three years. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors. The Niagara County Department of Health will conduct the next free rabies clinic on June 6, 2015 at the Hyde Park Pavilion, 911 Robbins Drive, City of Niagara Falls from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

3.      Keep family pets indoors at night. Don’t leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.

4.      Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods which may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cover, or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.

5.      Encourage children to immediately tell adults if they are bitten by any animals. Tell children not to touch any animals they do not know.

6.      Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Niagara County Department of Health at 439-7444 or 439-7430 after hours.

7.      If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors that are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control officer who will remove the animal for a fee if there is danger or you can call your local law enforcement agency.

8.      If your pet has been in a fight with another animal, wear gloves to handle it. Isolate it from other animals and people for several hours. Call your veterinarian. Your vaccinated pet will need a booster dose of rabies vaccine within five days of the exposure. Unvaccinated animals exposed to a known or suspected rabid animal must be confined for six months or humanely destroyed.

Further information on rabies can be obtained from the Niagara County Department of Health at 439-7444 or www.niagaracounty/health.com

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