With so many confirmed cases of rabies in Herkimer, health officials say it could be clustering, but what is that?

With 7 confirmed cases of rabies in Herkimer County, Public Health Nurse, Diane Ward, tells us that we could have some clustering in the area. She says clustering is a colony of infected animals such as feral cats or raccoons and could be the cause of so many positive test results in the town of Frankfort.

Ward says rabies can happen in any season and it's imperative to get all your pets the rabies vaccination. Dog and cat's need two rabies vaccinations one year apart then one every three years. The next rabies clinic is at the Ohio Community Recreational Center, 140 Nellis Road, town of Ohio, Thursday, April 11 from 5:30 - 7 pm.

Help  protect yourself and your pets from rabies by practicing the following:

1. Vaccinate your pets against rabies
2. Make sure animal enclosures are secure so small animals cannot get in.
3. Spay or neuter all animals to reduce the number of strays.
4. Do not feed strays or handle unknown animals, wild or domestic.

Remind children and adults not to play with unknown animals (wild or domestic). Due to the high percentage of bats that can carry the rabies virus any bat that is found in a house, if there was any possibility it had contact with a person or an animal in the house, call Public Health and we will make arrangements to have the bat tested.

Health officials are reminding residents that rabies is endemic in Herkimer County and surrounding counties, and all bites or possible exposures must be reported to the local health department. Call Public Health at 315-867-1176, if you have any questions or concerns.