Bat tests positive for rabies

FRANKLIN COUNTY - Officials announced earlier this week that a bat has tested positive for rabies in the North Country.

The Franklin County Public Health office issued a statement Monday that a bat which had come into contact with a human was captured and tested by officials. Those tests have come back, confirming that the bat was in fact rabid.

Health officials say the exposed human has begun treatment.

The public is urged to take steps to avoid contact with any and all bats, as well as other animals that may carry the virus. Those animals include raccoons, skunks, and many small mammals.

Officials also say the public should avoid contact with stray cats and dogs. Pet owners are advised to keep their pets indoors at night and not to leave them outside unattended.

Children should be encouraged to tell an adult immediately if they've been bitten by an animal or if they've handled an animal. Any animals on residential property should be left alone - not chased away.

All animal bites should be reported to the county health departments. In Franklin County, the number is 481-1710; it's 873-3500 in Essex; and in Clinton County, call 565-4840.

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