Sullivan County Public Health Services is issuing an advisory to the public that a fox found in the Village of Monticello in a populated area on Waverly Avenue has tested positive for rabies. “There was no exposure to people that our office has been made aware of at this time,” said Nancy McGraw, Public Health Director. “Please be aware of your surroundings, especially in wooded areas, and notify the NYS DEC of any suspicious acting wild or domestic animals.” The number for DEC is 845-256-3098.
Rabies is a deadly virus that infects the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is most common in bats, raccoons, foxes, and skunks. Rabies is primarily transmitted by a bite. However, there is risk of infection if saliva or nerve tissue from a rabid animal gets into someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or into an open wound.
Household pets can also get exposed to rabies by interacting with the carcass of an animal that had rabies.
Residents are cautioned not to approach any wild animal, particularly any animal, wild or domestic, which exhibits signs of being ill. This include aggressiveness, unusually tame or dazed looking, excessive drooling or foaming of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, dragging hind legs and mobility problems. If you or a family member have had any contact with such an animal you should contact your doctor immediately.
Reports of human contact with wild animals that appear to be ill or acting strangely should be made to Sullivan County Public Health Services by calling 845-292-5910. Call immediately if:
· you think a person or pet came in direct contact with a wild mammal
· you handle a pet after it came in direct contact with a wild mammal
· a bat was found in the living space of your home
There is a free rabies clinic at the Monticello Fire House on Wednesday Aug. 15 from 6 to 7:30 pm. If your cat or dog has not been vaccinated it is imperative that you do so. Dogs in the Town of Thompson, as in other Towns throughout the county, must be licensed with proof of vaccinations. Licenses can be obtained from your local Town Clerk.
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