What is Rabies?
Per the Center for Disease Control, rabies is
a virus that infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and
ultimately death. Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific,
consisting of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease
progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety,
confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations,
agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of
water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
What Animals Can Get Rabies?
Most frequently seen in wildlife such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes
Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated
Occasionally reported in deer and woodchucks
Very rarely in rabbits and rodents (mice, squirrels, chipmunks, hamsters,
Never in birds, snakes, fish, lizards or insects
All mammals, including
humans, can be infected with rabies
What Are The Signs Of Rabies?
Change in behavior
Frothing at the mouth
Most animals die within 1 week of showing signs of rabies
How Do People Become Exposed to Rabies?
Usually by being bitten by infected
Scratches may also transmit rabies if contaminated with saliva
Saliva from a rabid animal contacts mucous membranes or open wounds
Bat Exposures Include situations where there is a reasonable probability
that a bite, scratch or mucous membrane exposure occurred:
All bites, scratches, mucous membrane exposure
Direct skin contact
Sleeping person with bat in the same room
Adult finds a bat in a room or in close proximity to a young child,
mentally disabled or intoxicated person
In all circumstances where there is any question about bat exposure CAPTURE
THE BAT and call the local health department
for the external link to NY State Department
of Health "bat exposure and capture" information
What Should I do if I am Exposed to Rabies?
Seek medical treatment immediately
Consult the Clinton County Health department with the details surrounding
the animal and your exposure
What can people do to protect
themselves against rabies?
Dont feed or handle wild or stray animals
Vaccinate pets and livestock
Dont attract wild animals to your property
Teach children not to touch any animal they dont know
Maintain buildings to keep bats out
Report all bites or exposures to the Health Department
Protect Your Pet From Rabies
Remember, your dog or cat can be
vaccinated for rabies when it
turns 3 months of age. One year after the first dose, your pet requires a
booster, which is then good for three years. For the rest of your pet's
life, it should have a booster shot every three years.
What Services Are Available?
Investigate animal (mammal)
bites and exposures (to
determine if a person was exposed to rabies).
Arrange rabies testing for animals.
Oral vaccination program for wildlife.
Organize Rabies Clinic Schedules.
Investigate bat exposure.
Send Bat Proofing Techniques
Provide educational material to the public.
How Much Does it Cost?
All services are free to Clinton
NOTE: All animal bites need to be reported, no matter how minor.
Click here to download the "reporting an animal bite" document.
To receive more information, or
report any animal bite call or
visit us at:
Clinton County Health Department
135 Margaret Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Tel: (518) 565-4870
Fax: (518) 565-4843