TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WBNG) — An increase in bites from wild animals has given Tioga County residents a reason to be cautious of rabies.
An investigation carried out by the Tioga County Health Department showed surprisingly high numbers of animal bites for each month this summer.
The investigation revealed that there were 17 animal bites in May, 25 bites in June, and already 12 for the month of July.
The most concerning fact shown is that so far in 2019, three animals, two foxes and a raccoon, have tested positive for rabies.
Due to the animal bite increase, ten people since June have received treatment for possible rabies exposure.
Health officials say foxes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and feral cats are the animals to watch out for, as they most often test positive for rabies. Health officials recommend that residents do not take these animals into their homes.
Barbra Bilbrey, the Supervising Public Health Nurse at Tioga County Public Health said, “If you get rabies there is not much we can do and people tell me I sound frightening for that, but once you have started showing symptoms there is no cure, and most cases are fatal.”
If you get bitten by an animal, contact the authorities immediately and seek treatment. Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccines is also important to avoid contracting the disease.
The Tioga County Public Health Department will be hold a rabies vaccine clinic on Thursday, July 25.