According to a press release from the Otsego County Department of Health, a bat has tested positive for rabies in the Town of Oneonta. The positive results were returned on January 4th, 2024.

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Individual exposed to rabid bat

A single individual was exposed to the rabid animal and has since received post exposure vaccinations. Rabies is a fatal viral infection that can be transmitted a few different ways. Humans can be infected via a bite from a rabid animal, or if saliva from an infected animal enters via broken skin or mucus membranes.

The Otsego County Health Department urges residents and their children to keep a safe distance from wild animals and stray pets. In New York State, the law states that all dogs, cats, and ferrets must be vaccinated for rabies. If unvaccinated pets are in contact with animals that are either suspected or confirmed carriers of the disease, the pet must be either euthanized or strictly quarantined for six months at the owner's expense for six months.

For more information, call the health department at 607-547-4230 or visit their website here.

Free vaccination clinics available

The health department's website states: The Susquehanna SPCA has partnered with our Health Department to provide free rabies vaccination clinics at the SPCA (no appointment necessary). You may call 607-547-8111 ext. 111 for general questions. The website also states that dates for 2024 rabies vaccine clinics will be released early in the year.

If you're wondering how to safely capture a bat and minimize your risk of exposure, check out this video.


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