An Annsville resident is being treated for exposure to rabies after a rabid raccoon was found in the town this week.

According to the Oneida County Health Department, on Monday, January 10, 2022 the raccoon was sent to the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center for laboratory testing to determine if the animal was positive for rabies.  Positive test results were reported the following day, January 11, 2022.

Raccoon Photo Credit: Gary Bendig @kris_ricepees on Unsplash
Raccoon Photo Credit: Gary Bendig @kris_ricepees on Unsplash

Officials are urging residents to learn the possible symptoms of rabies and to avoid animals which exhibit those signs.  These include the following:

  • Animal acting strangely
  • Animal acting mad
  • Animal acting shy
  • Animal getting unusually close to an individual
  • Animal drooling or foaming from the mouth

Many think that rabies is a disease to be concerned with primarily in the summer. This is not the case as rabies can be active all year round.

According to a June 7, 2011 article by Ed Yong in "Discover" Magazine, even in animals who hibernate the rabies virus can linger.  Yong says, "Their metabolism slows to a crawl and their body temperatures drop. These cooler temperatures also slow the development of the rabies virus so it ends up hibernating along with its host."

Authorities caution that if an animal, wild or stray, exhibits the signs of rabies, it should not be approached.  If an animal is acting strangely a local animal control officer or law enforcement should be contacted for help.

Ferret Photo Credit: Steve Tsang @stevetsang on Unsplash
Ferret Photo Credit: Steve Tsang @stevetsang on Unsplash

Domesticated animals and pets should receive regular rabies vaccinations.  Cats, dogs, and ferrets that are three months old or older must have current rabies vaccinations, even if they stay indoors most of the time.  Depending on the type of vaccine used, dogs and cats may have vaccinations every one to three years following the initial dose.  Ferrets must be vaccinated annually.

Dogs Grover and Sawyer Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino
Dogs Grover and Sawyer Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino
Domino Lorenzo Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino (And yes, this is our family kitty.)
Cat Domino Lorenzo Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino

For more information visit the website for your county.  Or, for more information contact the New York State Department of Health.  The Department of Health advises that, if you have been bitten, scratched, or come into contact with the saliva or body fluids of an animal that you believe is rabid, wash the affected area thoroughly and immediately contact your doctor and then your local health department.


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