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Residents advised of rabid bat in Village of Herkimer

HERKIMER, N.Y. - A rabid bat has been identified inside a home in the Village of Herkimer. Since there was possible human contact, 5 persons are now receiving treatments for possible rabies exposure. There were no domestic animals in the home. The homeowner is addressing the presence of bats in attic spaces. This is the first positive rabies specimen this year in Herkimer County.

A case of animal rabies and exposure risk to humans in Herkimer County have heightened the importance of caution in any exposure to bats or wild animals, and for animal vaccination for rabies. An exposure to rabies can be fatal for a human or a pet, and vaccination of pets and other animals represents the best preventive measure available. Please carefully bag a dead or killed bat to allow laboratory examination for presence of rabies. Always call Herkimer County Public Health (867-1176) for instructions on safe handling of dead animals.

During 2010, Herkimer County Public Health will provide Ten Free Rabies Clinics.

Several clinics have already occurred, and the dates of subsequent 5 Rabies clinics are Newport Town Garage September 9th, Cedarville Fire House September 30th, Frankfort Fire Hall October 7th, Little Falls Town Garage, October 21st, and East Herkimer November 6th.

Please see e-schedule at www.herkimercounty.org

In 2008 and 2009, Herkimer County Public Health diagnosed rabies in bats, skunks, fox, raccoons, cats, and a bull. Many humans needed treatment for possible infection. Human rabies infection is usually fatal, so extreme caution and care is necessary for possible bite victims. If you are bitten, scratched or have contact with any animal that might be rabid, immediately wash the wound with water and soap, and seek emergency medical attention at any hour of the day or night. Be certain that the medical provider reports the incident to Herkimer County Public Health at 867-1176.

Strict laws of New York State hold owners responsible for keeping dogs, cats and ferrets up-to-date in their rabies vaccination, and assign them responsibility for confinement of any unvaccinated pet at the owner’s expense. Animals kept or fed by a homeowner are the responsibility of the homeowner. Residents must check and be sure that all their animals are up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations.

Dogs, cats and ferrets 3 months or older must be vaccinated, even if they stay indoors. Every dog and cat needs two rabies vaccinations one year apart, and then every three years needs revaccination. A certificate of vaccination allows licensure of a pet.

All Herkimer County residents should be very careful around any wild animals, but also stray animals, including stray domestic animals such as dogs and cats. Bats remain an important rabies carrier and should be avoided. Parents must protect their children from any contact with wild animals or bats.

Do not handle pets with bare hands (USE THICK GLOVES) if the pets have had contact with a possible rabid animal, and seek veterinary examination for the pet. Please carefully bag a dead or killed bat to allow laboratory examination for presence of rabies.

Herkimer County Public Health is available for assistance, advice, and testing of animals. Please call 315-867-1176 AT ALL HOURS. Regular hours are 8AM to 4PM on weekdays.

The dates of scheduled 5 Rabies clinics are Newport Town Garage September 9th, Cedarville Fire House September 30th, Frankfort Fire Hall October 7th, Little Falls Town Garage, October 21st , and East Herkimer November 6th

Please call 315-867-1176 to confirm date and location of clinics, or check at www.herkimercounty.org

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