The goal of this program is to reduce the risk of exposure to the rabies virus and to prevent the occurrence of rabies.
The program provides the following services:
Rabies is a fatal disease that cannot be cured once a person begins to have symptoms. Rabies has been present in Cayuga County since 1992 in terrestrial animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and other mammals. In addition to terrestrial rabies, bat rabies has also been shown to be present in Cayuga County. Birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects cannot transmit the disease.
Rabies can only be acquired through contact with an infected animal. Contact is defined as a bite, scratch, saliva contact to your eyes, nose, mouth, or open wound; or any physical contact with a bat. Possible exposure of people, pets or domestic livestock must be reported to the Cayuga County Health Department at 253-1405 or, after hours, to the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department at 253-1222.
A bat in your home can be a serious health risk to you and your family. Rabid bats have been documented in the 49 continental states, and are increasingly identified as the source of rabies transmission to humans. Data suggests that even minor, seemingly unimportant, or even unrecognized bites from bats can transmit rabies. For this reason it is important to protect yourself from bat exposure.
If a bat is found in a house and there is any chance that contact between the bat and a person or a pet occurred, the bat needs to be captured and submitted for rabies testing. Because people have developed rabies after unapparent exposures, rabies treatment may be necessary in situations where there is reasonable probability of exposure unless rabies can be ruled out by submitting the bat for testing. If a bat is found in the house and there is any chance that contact with a person or a pet occurred, the bat needs to be captured. DO NOT release the bat if there is a reasonable probability of an exposure such as direct physical contact with a bat, a bat found in a room with a sleeping person or unattended child, or a bat found in a room with an individual under the influence of alcohol and drugs or with other sensory or mental impairment.
The bat should be captured and submitted for rabies testing under the following circumstances:
In order to keep bats from entering your home, you must first determine if any are already present. You may want to do the following to be on the look out for the presence of roosting bats:
You should inspect your home each spring for signs of roosting bats in your home. You can take the following preventative measures to ensure bats will not enter your home:
More information on Rabies: