Nov. 11—The Chenango County Health Department announced multiple cases of rabies have been reported in the city of Norwich.
According to a media release, the cases have been identified in the local wildlife population within the city limits. Any wild animal acting strangely and in close proximity to residential areas should be considered dangerous, the release said.
The health department issued the following precautions to protect residents and their pets:
—Vaccinate pets for rabies. Dogs and cats should be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. For information on rabies vaccination for pets, call either the pet's veterinarian or Chenango County Environmental Health at 607-337-1673.
—If a pet has interactions with any rabies-suspected animal, do not handle the pet. If the pet needs attention, wear gloves and long sleeves, and use extreme caution. People can be exposed to rabies from lingering saliva on a pet's fur. The pet should be isolated, and the saliva allowed to dry, which will kill the virus.
—Keep pets on a leash when outside a fenced yard.
—Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals. Do not kill healthy-appearing animals merely due to this warning. If you see a wild animal acting abnormally in the area, report it to Chenango County Environmental Health. Abnormal actions in wild animals include no show of fear of people and may seem friendly. Rabid bats typically fall to the ground, where they become accessible to kids and pets.
—Do not trap and relocate skunks. Doing so spreads rabies to other areas. If you have a nuisance animal, contact a professional wildlife control agent.
—If bitten by an animal (wild or domestic), wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water and seek medical care. Be sure to report the bite to public health officials.
For more information about rabies, call Chenango County Environmental Health.