As the weather begins to get warmer and we head into summer, rabies also hits its peak season.
The Steuben County Public Health Department is warning the public to be aware of wild animals. While outdoor activities are happening more often, it increases the chances for encounters with wildlife that could lead to an attack.
Steuben County Public Health Director, Darlene Smith, says that if a person comes into contact with an animal suspected of having rabies, the animal should be confined and likely humanely euthanized to be submitted for lab testing.
Two ways can be used for determining if an animal has rabies, the first being observation. This is used mainly with domesticated animals and pets. If the animal is wild like a bat or raccoon, they need to be humanly euthanized and brought to the vet for testing.
While typical symptoms of rabies might be acting strange, aggressiveness, biting and more drooling than normal, animals may also act timid or shy, move slowly, and even act tame.
The most important thing to do is leave wild animals alone; not rescuing or touching them, and not attempting to make them a pet.
Rabies is 100% fatal if a person is infected and doesn’t receive treatment.
Ways to keep pets safe is to get them their regular rabies vaccines, and keep them away from wild animals.
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