First Positive Rabies Case in Onondaga County for 2017 Found in Raccoon

Onondaga County Commissioner of Health, Indu Gupta, MD, MPH, reports that the New York State Health Department’s laboratory confirmed that a raccoon found in the City of Syracuse tested positive for rabies. This is the first positive rabies finding in 2017.

The Health Department reminds residents that rabid animals can be present any time of the year and advises taking the following steps to help prevent exposure to rabies:

  • Never handle unfamiliar animals, either wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Wash any wound from an animal bite or scratch thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Call the Animal Disease Control Program at (315) 435-3165 if you find a bat in your home Capture a bat that you or your pet were exposed to especially if the bat is dead or appears sick. Click here  to learn how to capture a bat.
  • Bat-proof your house by plugging any holes in the house with steel wool.
  • Seek medical attention and have the bat tested if you awaken to find a bat in your room.

Keep your pet’s vaccinations current. This is especially important for dogs, cats, and ferrets. Getting your pet vaccinated can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans. New York State Public Health Laws require that all puppies and kittens get their initial shot at three months of age, with a booster shot every three years. Ferrets must get a shot every year. Click here to see our 2017 Rabies Clinic schedule.
For more information about rabies prevention, visit /health/ADP.html.