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Second 2018 Animal Rabies Case Identified in Niagara County

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Monday, September 10, 2018/Categories: Health, Health Events

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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 Tonawanda Creek Road in the Town of Pendleton was confirmed positive for rabies,” announced Scott Ecker, Associate Supervising Sanitarian.  This is the second rabid animal (both bats) confirmed in Niagara County in 2018. “Bats, raccoons, skunks, and fox are all common wildlife carriers of the rabies virus.  It is possible that a rabid animal can shed (share) the virus by direct contact before symptoms appear visible.  A rabid animal is confirmed by submitting a laboratory sample.” said Mr. Ecker.  Please contact the Environmental Division at 439-7444 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.

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, cats, and ferrets 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 destroyed.

The Niagara County DOH will hold a free rabies vaccination clinic on September 15, 2018 at the Town of Lockport Highway Garage at 6560 Dysinger Road from 2:00 – 4:00P.pm.  Contact the Environmental Division at 439-7444 with any questions.  Pre-registration is available on our website at:

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

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