Rabies: What every pet owner should know

NORWICH Attention Chenango County residents: Vaccinate your pet against rabies and, if you find a bat in your home, do not release or discard it! Immediately contact the Chenango County Health Department's Environmental Division at 337-1673.

Animal rabies continues to be a serious public health problem in New York State. With warm weather here, and increased contact between wildlife and people and their pets, the Chenango County Health Department reminds all Chenango County residents that it is prepared to help anyone who may have been exposed to rabies or who has questions about the disease. Staff of the Chenango County Health Department is available to respond to rabies questions. Routine inquiries and requests for information can be obtained by calling 337-1673 during business hours. After normal business hours, residents with urgent inquiries can call their healthcare practitioner, local emergency room, or 9-1-1 for an emergency.

In many years, New York State leads the nation in the number of rabid animals, with 559 animals confirmed with rabies in 2007. Last year, more than 3,000 New Yorkers underwent a month long rabies treatment due to bites, scratches, or mucous membrane exposures to saliva or nervous tissue from potentially rabid animals. More than three quarters of the treatments were related to animals not captured. If captured, the rabies status can be determined.

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