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Niagara County Department of Health Reports Fourth Rabies Case of 2019

Author: Elise Pignatora/Thursday, September 5, 2019/Categories: Health

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The Niagara County Department of Health has been notified that a bat submitted for rabies testing from Sheetram Road in the Town of Pendleton was confirmed positive for rabies. This is the fourth rabid animal confirmed in Niagara County this year. The bat had entered a residence and was captured by the homeowner for testing by the Niagara County Department of Health.  “It is important to contact our Environmental Health office if a bat gets into your home to discuss if there is a reason to be concerned and to determine whether or not the bat should be submitted for testing,” stated Associate Supervisory Sanitarian, Scott Ecker.

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 with proof of previous vaccination. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors.
    • ​The Niagara County Department of Health will conduct the next free rabies clinic on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at the Town of Lockport Highway Department, 6560 Dysinger, Town of Lockport from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

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.
  • Any bats that potentially contacts a human or pet should be captured for rabies testing.
  • 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 destroyed.

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 http://www.niagaracounty.com/health/Services/Environmental-Health/Rabies.   

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