Rabies cases reported to Essex County Public Health

— There have been a few confirmed cases of rabies in wild animals in Essex County this year. Essex County Public Health Department reminds all residents to avoid contact with stray or wild animals and cats and dogs that are unknown to you. If a contact happens, please notify Essex County Public Health Department at 873-3500.

It is essential for pet owners to make sure their pets are up to date with their rabies vaccinations. Teach children not to touch animals they do not know and tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by an animal. If your pet has been injured by a rabid or suspected rabid animal contact your veterinarian for medical care and contact Essex County Public Health Department at 873-3500 to determine what additional follow-up may be needed. Also notify this Department if there is contact with a bat, or a bat is found in a room with a young child or where someone is sleeping.

Additional rabies vaccination clinics are scheduled: Aug. 22, at the Willsboro Highway Garage from 6 to7 p..m and Aug. 23 at the Crown Point Highway Garage from 6 to 7 p.m. There is no charge for these vaccinations; donations are accepted. Every pet dog, cat and ferret three months of age and older is required to be vaccinated against rabies; even cats that live indoors.

If you see a wild animal, especially a raccoon, bat, skunk or fox, stay away and keep children away; keep pets indoors and let the animal go away on its own. You may call a nuisance wildlife control officer who may remove the animal for a fee.

The first sign of rabies is usually a change in an animal’s behavior. It may become either unusually aggressive or tame. It may lose fear of people or natural enemies. Wild animals may appear friendly or affectionate. It may become excited or irritable and attack.

Call the Essex County Public Health Department at 873-3500 to report a contact or if you have any questions.

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