DEERFIELD - The Oneida County Health Department is warning the public about a possible rabies exposure.
The department says on Monday a dog came into contact with a skunk in the Town of Deerfield, and the skunk later tested positive for rabies.
Officials say the rabies virus is fatal when left untreated. Officials say no humans were exposed in this particular incident.
The health department offered tips to protect yourself against possible exposure to rabies. They include:
• Report any sick or strange acting wildlife
• Vaccinate pets and livestock. New York State law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age. Vaccinating your domestic animal not only provides protection for the animal, but vaccinated pets act as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.
• Vaccination is also recommended for livestock with frequent human contact.
• Do not feed wildlife or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
• Do not feed strays.
• Do not approach an unknown animal, either wild or domestic, especially if it is acting in a strange or unusual manner.
• Report all animal bites and any contact with bats to the Health Department in your county. Human rabies can be prevented after exposure by administering a series of shots.
• Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
• Children should be instructed to tell an adult immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.
• If an unvaccinated pet comes in contact with rabid or suspected rabies the pet must be quarantined for six months.
• Vaccinated pets that come in contact with rabid or suspected rabies animal must be given a booster rabies vaccination within five days of the contact.
The county is scheduled to host its next rabies clinic on April 9 at the Camden Fire Department from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.