Onondaga County Interim Commissioner of Health, Michelle Mignano, announced today that the New York State Health Department laboratory has reported that a bat found on Lakeshore Road in the Town Of Cicero has tested positive for rabies. Ms. Mignano stresses, “It is important to bat-proof your home to keep bats out of your house and away from you and your family. However, if you are exposed to a bat in your home, it is important to trap the bat and call Animal Disease Control for further guidance”.
The Health Department recommends the following steps to catch a bat. You can also go online to watch a video on how to trap a bat at: http://www.ongov.net/health/ADP.html.
§ Wear gloves and do not touch the bat.
§ Keep the bat confined to one room (close the door, windows, and closet doors).
§ Turn on the lights if the room is dark.
§ Wait for the bat to land and cover the bat with a coffee can or container (do not damage the bat’s head)
§ Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat. (Do not use glue board to capture the bat (it cannot be easily removed for rabies testing).Tape the cardboard tightly to the can.
§ Use a net or long pole with a piece of duct tape (sticky side out) to capture the bat, if necessary.
§ Immediately contact the Bureau of Animal Disease Prevention at 435] 3165 to arrange for rabies testing of the bat.
It is important to bat-proof your home and to keep them out. Do this by being sure to look for holes in common entry places like the garage, attic, and basement. Then, plug up any holes in the house with steel wool, repair window screen holes with wire mesh, and caulk any other openings or cracks.
Furthermore, it is important to keep your pet’s rabies vaccination current. This is especially important for dogs, cats, and ferrets. Getting your pet vaccinated can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans. The Onondaga County Health Department offers a number of clinics throughout the year to protect your pet from rabies. New York State Public Health Law requires that all puppies and kittens get an initial shot at three months of age, with a booster shot every three years. Ferrets must get a shot every year. For a full schedule of upcoming rabies vaccination clinics visit www.ongov.net/health, or call 435-3165.