OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Health Department reports that two raccoons recently tested positive for rabies in Oswego County. A man is being treated for post-rabies exposure after being attacked by a raccoon in the Town of Oswego. In a separate incident, a raccoon in the Town of Granby tested positive for the rabies virus. There was no exposure to people or pets in the Granby incident.
Judy Grandy, Director of Environmental Health for the Oswego County Health Department, encourages residents to take advantage of the department’s free rabies vaccination clinics for their pets. The department will hold clinics in Scriba, Pulaski, Parish, Hastings, Hannibal and Volney between March and November.
“The rabies virus is nearly always fatal to mammals if left untreated, and remains active during the winter months,” said Grandy. “Vaccinating your pet builds a buffer zone between the virus and humans, and is the best way to protect you, your family and pets against the disease.”
In 2019 Oswego County Health Department staff:
Vaccinated 2,230 cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies.
Confirmed 26 positive cases of rabies, including 17 raccoons, four skunks, three bats, and two gray fox.
Submitted 170 animals to the state health department to be tested for rabies. They included bats, raccoons, dogs, skunks, foxes, cats, cows, fishers, weasels, goats, a horse, a coyote, a deer, and a woodchuck.
County Legislator James Karasek, Chair of the Legislature’s Health Committee, said the department is available 24/7 to investigate cases of potential rabies exposure.
“Last year the health department’s environmental unit responded to 814 calls involving possible rabies incidents,” said Legislator Karasek. “The staff works with health and veterinary care providers to determine the required course of action when investigating potential exposures to rabies. Through the course of these investigations, 41 people in Oswego County were authorized to receive post-exposure rabies treatments.”
The department will conduct eight rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets in 2020. All clinics are on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Clinics will be held at these locations:
March 25, Scriba: Oswego County DPW Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.
April 22, Pulaski: Oswego County DPW Garage, 957 Centerville Rd.
May 13, Parish: Oswego County DPW Garage, 24 Dill Pickle Alley.
June 10, Hastings: Hastings Town Highway Garage, Wilson Road, Central Square.
July 15, Hannibal: Hannibal Town Highway Garage, 68 Cemetery Drive.
Aug. 12, Volney: Bristol Hill Oswego County Solid Waste Facility, 3125 State Rt. 3.
Sept. 16, Pulaski: Oswego County DPW Garage, 957 Centerville Rd.
Nov. 4, Scriba: Oswego County DPW Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.
There is a suggested donation of $7 per animal.
All animal bites, whether from a domestic animal or wildlife, should be reported to the Health Department as soon as possible. To report an animal bite or seek guidance concerning potential exposures to rabies, call 315-349-3557, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.; or call 315-341-0086 after regular business hours, weekends and holidays.
In addition to Legislator Karasek (District 22, Granby), members of the Legislature’s Health Committee include Vice Chair Morris Sorbello (District 23, Granby), and legislators Nathan Emmons (District 15, Oswego); Marc Greco (District 24, Oswego); Richard Kline (District 12, Pennellville); Ralph Stacy Jr. (District 25, Fulton); and Herbert Yerdon (District 2, Richland).
Additional information about rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.