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First 2018 Animal Rabies Case Identified in Niagara County

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Tuesday, June 26, 2018/Categories: Health

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“The Niagara County Department of Health Division of Environmental Health has been notified that a bat submitted for rabies testing from Old Niagara Street in the City of Lockport was confirmed positive for rabies,” announced Environmental Health Director Paul Dicky.  This is the first rabid animal confirmed in Niagara County in 2018. “The bat was found inside a home, and we follow New York State Department of Health identified criteria as a basis for further action,” said Mr. Dicky.  “Please contact this office if a bat gets into your home to discuss if there is a reason to be concerned before you release or dispose of the bat,”  Scott Ecker, Associate Supervising Sanitarian added.


As rabies season generally 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:


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


  • 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.


  • Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.


  • 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.


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


  • 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 or if there is danger, or you can call your local law enforcement agency.


  • 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 euthanized.


Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 439-7444 or 439-7430 after hours.  Further information on rabies can be obtained from the Niagara County Department of Health at 439-7444 or www.niagaracounty/


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