March 7, 2018First Clinic is March 21 at County Highway Garage in Scriba -
OSWEGO COUNTY - The Oswego County Health Department will hold eight rabies clinics at locations around Oswego County between March and November. All clinics will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. The first clinic will be Wednesday, March 21, at the County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive, Scriba.
Immunizing pets greatly reduces the risk of human exposure to rabies and is the most effective way to protect humans and their pets from the rabies virus.
Rabies is the only communicable disease with a nearly 100 percent fatality rate for humans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 23 known human cases of rabies in the U.S. between 2008 and 2017, only two people have survived. The virus can infect any mammal and is 100 percent fatal to animals.
Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director, said most rabies cases involve people or domestic animals coming in contact with rabid wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. A raccoon in Pennellville tested positive for rabies in February. Wildlife will become more active as the weather gets warmer.
New York State law requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age. Ferrets must be vaccinated annually. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter. In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated. Owners should bring their pet's last rabies vaccination certificate with them to the clinic.
The health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics, but no one will be turned away. Dogs should be leashed and cats and ferrets should be in a carrier. Please leave sick pets at home.
Clinics will be held at these locations during the spring, summer and fall:
Any time a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be reported to the county health department as soon as possible. A bite or scratch on the skin should be washed immediately with soap and water.
To reduce the risk of rabies in animals and humans, people should take the following steps: Make sure that dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccines. The rabies vaccination is the most effective way of protecting pets and humans from rabies.
To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department's answering service at 315-341-0086. For more information visit www.oswegocounty.com/health/rabies.pdf or www.facebook.com/OswegoHealthDpt/.
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