For The Health Of It: Rabies Prevention
Published: July 10th, 2024

CHENANGO COUNTY – Rabies is a deadly viral disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. Rabies can be carried by wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes. Infected animals can transmit the deadly virus through saliva to humans and other animals by biting or scratching the skin.

Chenango County Health Department provides post-exposure treatment to Chenango County residents who are exposed to animals that test positive for rabies or for an at-risk exposure.

Health Department staff also coordinate and host rabies clinics for dogs, cats, and ferrets throughout the year. Please follow our Facebook page or go to the website to view the most recent Rabies clinics that are offered in our County.

Rabies tips everyone should know:

1. Take care of your pets- give them plenty of water, feed them properly, exercise them and protect them from illnesses by getting them vaccinated for rabies and other diseases.

2. Don’t touch wild animals—ever! If your pet tangles with a wild animal, use gloves to clean your pet and do not touch them with your bare hands.

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3. Only pet your own pet- ask permission from other pet owners before you touch their pet. Encourage children to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by an animal.

4. Seal openings in your house so that bats cannot get in. If you need help with this, call a professional.

5. If you wake up and a bat is in the house—don't throw it out or destroy it. Capture it properly and have it tested.

6. Bat bites or scratches may not be visible or felt. Waking up with a bat in the house or having unattended children or animals in the home are reasons to be concerned about possible exposure. Capture the bat and seek medical help.

7. If you are exposed to an animal- wake up with a bat in the house, are bitten, scratched or in contact with saliva- wash wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention.

8. Keep family pets indoors at night- don’t leave them outside unattended or let them roam free. Keep pet foods indoors.

9. Limit or do not use pet doors- wild animals don’t know they aren’t supposed to come into your house.

10. Call Environmental Health at 337-1673 if you have captured an animal or if you think you have been exposed. Call us if you have a bat that needs to be tested.

For more information, please visit: or

For a list of Chenango County Rabies Clinics please visit:

Persons with questions or requiring additional information may contact the Chenango County Health Department at (607) 337-1660.

- Information from the Chenango County Health Department