Picente: ‘Vaccinate to Eliminate’ for World Rabies Day

Oneida County Working to Keep Pets & Families Safe

With World Rabies Day occurring on Sept. 28, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. is urging residents to “Vaccinate to Eliminate” in order to keep their pets and families safe.

“World Rabies Day is a good opportunity to remind our residents to ensure their pets are current on their vaccinations,” Picente said. “Every ten minutes, someone in the United States is treated for possible exposure to rabies. We will continue to fight each day to reduce exposure here in Oneida County with education, vaccination clinics and treatment information and options.”

Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and leads to death unless treatment is started soon after exposure. The virus is passed when an infected animal bites another animal or human. Any mammal can get rabies, but it is most common in bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons. With regular vaccinations, residents can protect their pets and their families from rabies.

The Health Department offers rabies vaccination clinics throughout the year at various community locations. The next clinic is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on October 11 at the Sherrill Community Activity Center. Rabies in pets is 100 percent preventable if they receive the vaccination.

“It is important to remember to seek care if rabies exposure is suspected,” said Oneida County Director of Health, Phyllis D. Ellis, BSN, MS, F.A.C.H.E. “Rabies can not only make pets and people sick, it can be fatal.”

According to the Health Department, some signs that suggest possible rabies exposure in animals include:

  • Strange behavior
  • Sickly appearance
  • Problems swallowing
  • Appearing usually tame
  • Biting at everything
  • Trouble moving

Other ways to prevent rabies include:

  • Staying away from strays and wild animals
  • Keeping pets indoors at night
  • Not leaving pets outside unattended
  • Learning how to safely capture a bat

For questions about rabies or if you suspect a pet has been exposed to rabies, contact the Health Department at 315-798-5064. For more information on rabies prevention, visit www.ocgov.net/oneida/health.