November 9, 2016
OSWEGO – The Oswego County Health Department is advising residents that the rabies virus is still active in Oswego County. Rabid bats were found over the weekend of Nov. 5 and 6 in the cities of Oswego and Fulton.
Jiancheng Huang, Public Health Director, said bats rarely attack humans, but any physical contact with a rabid bat may result in the transmission of rabies. In some situations, such as when a bat is found in a room with a sleeping person or next to an unattended young child or pet, a bat bite may not be detected.
If a bat is found in the home, health officials ask that residents try to capture the bat so it may be tested for rabies. The state Department of Health has developed a short video with instructions on how to safely capture a bat indoors. To view the video, go to http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies.
"People should try to avoid any contact with bats, especially if one is outdoors during daylight, on the ground, or appears to be paralyzed," said Huang.
Any contact with a bat or other suspicious-acting animal should be immediately reported to the County Health Department. To report a possible rabies exposure, call the 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 315-341-0086.
“All incidents must be investigated as soon as possible to determine if any person or domestic pet may have been exposed to the rabies virus," said Huang.
The health department's environmental team is available around the clock to respond to incidents that involve possible exposure to rabies. If it's determined that a bat or other animal needs to be tested for rabies, arrangements are made to have the specimen tested by the New York State Health Department. If it's determined there was possible exposure to humans or pets, the health department will advise on the proper treatment procedures.
For more information call the health department at 315-349-3564 or visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies.
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