Bat test positive for rabies in Delhi

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2017

Contact: Heather Warner, Health Education Coordinator
Tel. (607) 832-5200 | heather.warner@co.delaware.ny.us

Bat test positive for rabies in Delhi

A bat tested positive for rabies in the Village of Delhi. This is the first animal in Delaware County to test positive for rabies in 2017. There were no human exposures; a dog and two cats were exposed to the rabid bat. Vaccination records of the pets indicated the animals were not up to date their rabies vaccinations. The animals have begun a 6 month quarantine following the New York State Department of Health guidelines.

Once infected, rabies is a virus that has 100% fatality rate when left untreated, in mammals including humans. The vaccination of dogs, cats, ferrets and livestock is essential to protect animals against rabies. Bats carry rabies in their saliva and may transmit the disease through bites to humans and other animals. Most bats are healthy and can be helpful to humans by consuming insects, but some bats are infected with rabies. Prompt treatment following a bite or exposure can prevent rabies in humans.

Public Health recommends the following if you or your pet encounters a bat:

  • First determine if a human, pet or livestock may have had contact with the bat.
  • If contact occurred, immediately wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Seek medical attention and contact your local health department
  • If you are uncertain or suspect of a person or pet was exposed to a bat, wear thick gloves and wait for it to land and cover the bat with a coffee can. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat. Tape the cardboard tightly to the can. Call the health department for further instructions.
  • Bats should only be captured if there has been direct contact with a person or pet, or, if the bat was found in the room of someone who might have been exposed while sleeping or, found a bat in a room with an unattended child, or see a bat near an intoxicated person or mentally impaired person.
  • Keep pets up to date with rabies vaccinations. If your pet has up to date rabies shots, then all that may be needed is a rabies booster shot within 5 days. Call your veterinarian.
  • Unvaccinated animals exposed must be quarantined 6 months or euthanized
  • Under certain circumstances, people can be vaccinated to prevent rabies if exposed to a bat that tested positive for rabies or if the bat is unavailable or bat was untestable.

Delaware County Public Health conducts free rabies clinics for dogs, and ferrets. The remaining clinics for 2017 are as follows:

• June 13, 2017, from 6PM-8PM, at the Walton Highway Garage, 25091 St. Hwy 10, Walton, NY 13856

• June 14, 2017, from 5PM-7PM, at the Tompkins Highway Garage, 8586 St. Rt 206, 13847

• June 22, 2017, from 5PM-7PM, at the Masonville Fire Hall, 15488 NY-8, Masonville, NY 13804

• July 11, 2017, from 5PM-6:30PM, at the Downsville Highway 6292 River Rd, Downsville, NY 13755

• July 12, 2017, from 6PM-8PM, at the Town Clerk Building 3 Elm St., Deposit, NY 13754

• July 19, 2017, from 6PM-8PM, at the Delhi Fire Hall, 140 Delview Terrace, Delhi, NY 13753

• August 9, 2017, from 4PM-6PM, at the Franklin Fire Hall, 351 Main St., Franklin, NY 13775

• August 23, 2017, from 5PM-7PM, at the Sidney Fire Hall, 74 River St., Sidney, NY 13838

• September Rabies Clinic in Delhi date and time pending

To report a suspected rabid animal call Delaware County Public Health Services at 607-832-

5200. For more information call 607-832-5200 or visit our website at

www.delawarecountypublichealth.com

Endorsed by:

Amanda C. Walsh, MPH

Public Health Director