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May 4, 2010

Health Department Will Hold Rabies Clinic in Parish May 19

PARISH - The Oswego County Health Department will hold a rabies clinic for dogs, cats and pet ferrets from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at the County Highway Garage on Dill Pickle Alley, Parish.

All puppies, kittens, and pet ferrets are required by New York State law to have their first rabies vaccine no later than four months of age. A second vaccination is required within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter. Pet owners should bring their pet's last rabies certificate to the clinic. A $5 donation is suggested.

Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County Director of Public Health, said the rabies virus continues to be active across Oswego County. In 2009, there were three cases of rabies confirmed by the county health department. They included a raccoon in Volney, a fox in the City of Oswego, and a skunk in Phoenix.

"The rabies virus can infect any mammal, including dogs, cats, livestock, small wildlife, and humans," said Dr. Norfleet. "The vast majority of rabies cases reported each year occur with wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes."

County residents are reminded that any time a person or pet comes in physical contact with a wild animal, the incident should be reported to the health department as soon as possible. If a person receives a bite or scratch on the skin, it should be washed immediately with soap and water.

If a pet is wounded in an encounter with another animal, the wound should also be washed with soap and water if feasible. Pet owners should avoid having direct contact with the wound by wearing rubber or latex gloves and eye protection (regular or safety glasses) while cleaning.

To report a possible exposure, and for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department's answering service at 341-0086.


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