During the last several weeks, Tioga County Public Health has seen an increase in the number of animal bites in the county. Animal bite investigations by month include 17 in May, 25 in June, and already 12 in July. These animals include foxes, bats, feral cats, and dogs.
So far in 2019, one fox and one raccoon have tested positive for rabies. Since the beginning of June, 10 individuals have received treatment for possible rabies exposure. Individuals are encouraged to be cautious when outdoors and to avoid contact with any wild animals, regardless of their behavior. Rabies can be spread from animals carrying the virus if they bite or scratch and individual or other animal. In our area, animals that test positive for rabies most often are foxes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and feral cats. Never take in any of these animals as pets or try to rehab them, as this has led to several people needing treatment for rabies over the past few years.
If you have been bitten, scratched or come in contact with a wild animal, please call Tioga County Public Health at 607-687-8600 or Tioga County Sheriff’s Office after hours at 607-687-1010. Remember, rabies is 100 percent fatal.
Make sure you take proper precautions. Don’t forget to keep your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. Tioga County Public Health will hold a Rabies Vaccination Clinic on Thursday, July 25 from 6–8pm at the Spencer Fire Department. Don’t forget to pre-register at www.health.ny.gov/go2clinic/54.