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Health Officials: Skunk in Vernon tests positive for rabies

By WKTV News

VERNON, N.Y. - Officials with the Oneida County Health Department say that a skunk found in a barn in the Town of Vernon has tested positive for rabies.

The case brings the total number of confirmed rabies cases in Oneida County in 2012 to six among the fifty specimens submitted to the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Laboratories for testing so far this year, health officials said.

"While there were no human contacts with the skunk reported, several domestic animals including dogs, and cattle were possibly exposed to the virus," Bobbi Jo Kahl, Coordinator of the Rabies Prevention and Treatment Program said. Kahl added, "All of the animals, except one, were current on their rabies vaccinations and will only require a rabies booster. The unvaccinated animal will be quarantined on the farm."

The Health Department reminds Oneida County pet owners that all dogs, cats and ferrets 3-months and older must be vaccinated against rabies under New York State Health law. Dogs and cats require two shots given twelve months apart and then a shot every three years. Ferrets must be vaccinated annually.

The Oneida County Health Department sponsors low-cost rabies clinics each month throughout the year at various locations. The next rabies clinic is being held Thursday, August 23 at the Annsville Highway Garage from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Animals must be leashed or in a pet carrier.

A $10 donation is requested to help defray costs and pet owners are asked to bring their pet's vaccination history.

For more information on rabies prevention and treatment, or for a complete schedule of rabies clinics visit the Oneida County Health Department's website or call 798-5064.

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