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rabies

Rabid bat found in Watertown home

in Animals 280 views

Jefferson County Public Health Service said Wednesday that a bat found in the city has tested positive for rabies.

Public Health said the state Department of Health laboratory reported the positive finding to the service.

The service said in a statement that the bat was located inside a home in the city. There were no known human exposures; however, a pet cat was exposed. The cat was not vaccinated against rabies and must be euthanized.

According to Public Health, rabies is a fatal disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It can take several weeks to several months for rabies symptoms to appear. Early treatment after an exposure can prevent rabies in humans and in pets who are up to date on vaccination.

Any mammal can get rabies, but it is most often seen in bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. Animals with rabies do not necessarily display aggressive or erratic behavior but changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies.

Bats that are on the ground, unable to fly, or active during the day are more likely than others to be rabid.

Even so, when any bat is found in a room with an unattended child or with any sleeping or incapacitated person, the bat should be tested for rabies.

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Raccoon in city of Watertown reported to have rabies

in Animals 196 views

WATERTOWN, NY —  The New York State Department of Health rabies laboratory has reported to the Jefferson County Public Health Service (JCPHS) that a raccoon has tested positive for rabies. The raccoon was located in the City of Watertown and was submitted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for testing. There were no known human or pet exposures.

Rabies is a fatal disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It can take several weeks to several months for rabies symptoms to appear. Early treatment after an exposure can prevent rabies in humans and in pets who are up to date on vaccination. Any mammal can get rabies, but it is most often seen in bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Animals do not have to be aggressive or behave erratically to have rabies. Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies.

Please take these steps to help prevent the spread of rabies:

1. Teach children to stay away from unfamiliar animals, either wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. Remind them to tell you if they have any unusual contact with an animal.

2. Do not leave pet food outside as it attracts wildlife to your home.

3. Wash any wound from an animal encounter thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

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