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Be Aware of Rabies
Following a recent case of rabies in a kitten, the Wyoming County Health Department encourages everyone to take precautions against rabies exposure from wild and stray animals and to assure your pets are vaccinated against this potentially deadly disease.
Rabies is a disease that can spread from infected wild animals and pets to humans. Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pet dogs, cats and ferrets and avoiding contact with all wild and stray animals. With the winter weather, it is tempting to care for stray cats, dogs and wild animals. However, these animals are more likely to have rabies because of lack of vaccination and their exposure to other wild animals. If you have been bitten by a cat, dog, or have had contact with a wild animal, please contact the Wyoming County Health Department at (585) 786-8894.
Rabies affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals, and is fatal in the vast majority of cases once disease occurs. With prompt treatment following exposure, however, rabies can be prevented.
Infected animals spread rabies virus through their saliva. People and unvaccinated animals can be infected from a rabid animal from a bite or if the saliva gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or a break in the skin.
Rabies is endemic in bats and raccoons in New York State. Other wild animals, especially skunks and gray and red fox, are more likely than family pets to be infected with rabies because of exposure to raccoons and the widespread vaccination of pet cats, dogs and ferrets.
In 2017, the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center tested 9228 wild and domestic animals for rabies. Of the animals tested, 607 were positive for rabies. To prevent rabies:
For more information on rabies prevention, visit the Wyoming County Health Department website at http://www.wyomingco.net/244/Rabies .