According to Livingston County Public Health Director, Jennifer Rodriguez, the New York State Health Department laboratory has confirmed that a raccoon in the Town of Geneseo tested positive for rabies on May 5, 2020.
Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the central nervous system in mammals. It is most often found in raccoons, skunks, and bats in Livingston County. All mammals, including unvaccinated dogs, cats, and farm animals are at risk for getting rabies. There is no way to tell if an animal is rabid just by looking at it. Wild or feral animals should always be avoided. Signs of rabies in wildlife can include:
— inability to walk
- appearance of “drunkenness”
- unwillingness to drink water or eat
- aggressive behavior
- any significant change in temperament
All potential rabies exposures should be reported to the Livingston County Department of Health.
Below are important steps you can follow to prevent rabies.
- Stay away from unfamiliar animals, either wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
- Thoroughly wash any wound from an animal with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention.
- Avoid wild and feral animals, especially if the animal is showing any sign of rabies.
- Be a responsible pet owner by keeping your pet’s vaccinations current. Getting your pet vaccinated can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans.
New York State Law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations beginning at 4 months of age. An unvaccinated pet that comes into contact with a rabid animal must be kept in strict confinement for six months or be euthanized. Free rabies clinics are offered for dogs, cats, and ferrets every year in Livingston County. Please contact the Livingston County Department of Health for clinic dates.