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State Says McGraw Deer Tests “Negative” For Rabies

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Cortland County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Tobias checks a deer last week in McGraw. (CCSO photo)

Diane Madak-Lamont, the Supervising Public Health Sanitarian at the Cortland County Health Department reports the NYS Wadsworth Health Lab has determined that the deer reported in McGraw has tested negative for rabies.

Madak-Lamont adds that other tests may be on-going and promises to report any results as received.

Rabies Advice

The Cortland County Health Department reminds residents of the hazards of handling wildlife exhibiting erratic behavior.

Rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies

What To Look For:

  • The first sign of rabies is usually a change in an animal’s behavior.
  • It may become unusually aggressive or tame.
  • The animal may lose its fear of people and natural enemies.
  • A wild animal may appear affectionate and friendly.
  • It may become excited or irritable and attack anything in its path.
  • Staggering, convulsions, choking, frothing at the mouth and paralysis are sometimes seen.
  • Many animals will make very unusual sounds.
  • Infected animals usually die within one week after showing signs of rabies.

Important Rabies Information:

  • Don’t feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats.
  • Be sure your pet dogs, cats, and ferrets, as well as horses and valuable livestock animals, are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals.
  • Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation.
  • Keep family pets indoors at night. Don’t leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
  • Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cap or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.
  • If nuisance wild animals are living in parts of your home, consult with a nuisance wildlife control expert about having them removed. You can find wildlife control experts, who work on a fee-for-service basis, in your telephone directory under pest control.
  • Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.
  • If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control expert who will remove the animal for a fee.

Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Cortland County health department at (607) 753-5035.

If possible, do not let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies.

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