Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Two Erie County residents have been exposed to rabies by animal bites this week, say Erie County health officials.
To date in 2014, thirteen animals have tested positive for rabies in Erie County (five raccoons, five bats, and one each of a cat, skunk and fox).
On June 11th, a 15-month old child in West Seneca was bitten on the face by a rabid bat in the child’s bedroom. On June 12th, a man in Alden was bitten when he attempted to stop a rabid raccoon from attacking his dog. Also on June 12th, a rabid bat was found inside a Buffalo home but fortunately no one was bitten.
“The only way to know if a bat has rabies is from a laboratory test. Our Environmental Health professionals will ensure testing of animals that could be infected with rabies. To stay safe, never handle a bat or any other wild animal” stated Erie County Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale R. Burstein.
“In addition, it is extremely important that all household pets receive rabies vaccinations. This includes “indoor cats,” as rabid animals, such as bats, can gain access to inside the home and may bite pets” concluded Burstein. A rabies vaccination for dogs and cats three months of age and older is mandatory in Erie County. The first vaccination is valid for one year with a booster vaccine every three years thereafter.