Health dept: Stay alert for rabies

HUDSON—Rabies does not hibernate in the winter.
Columbia County Health Department officials say two recent incidents should serve to remind residents to be aware of rabies.

One incident involved a fox attack on a boy in Stockport. The child had to undergo post rabies exposure vaccinations, because the fox escaped.

In the second incident, a rabid raccoon attacked a dog in Elizaville. The state lab confirmed that the raccoon was rabid. The dog’s owner had to receive post rabies exposure vaccinations and the dog had to be quarantined for six months because its rabies vaccination was not up to date, according to a health department press release.
In 2009, post rabies exposure contacts resulted in 24 people having to receive the rabies vaccination series.
The county health department sent seven raccoons and one gray fox for rabies testing last year and all results were positive for rabies.
If an animal is behaving in an abnormal manner, such as overly aggressive or friendly, health officials say: Stay clear and call an animal control professional.
Anyone bitten by a suspected rabid animal should make every effort to locate that animal and have it captured for testing.
If the animal cannot be captured, the person bitten should seek medical attention immediately.
A person exposed to, though not bitten by, animals considered to be at high rabies risk, such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, should also seek immediate medical attention. Any exposure should be reported to the county health department.
Residents can limit their exposure by keeping their pets properly vaccinated.

For a 2010 schedule of rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets and/or more information about rabies exposure visit or call the county health department at (518) 828-3358.


Comments are closed.