ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Essex County Health Department confirmed a rabies exposure this week in the Adirondack town of North Hudson. The county was notified on Monday evening that a North Hudson resident had been attacked and bitten by a fox.
An officer from the DEC was dispatched to the region where the attack was reported, and able to capture a gray fox found to be acting suspiciously. The animal tested positive for rabies at the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Laboratory. Essex County says that there is not currently believed to be any further risk to the public.
“We typically see a handful of rabies cases in wild animals each year, especially in the southeastern portion of the county,” said Essex County Health Department Planning and Promotion Director Jessica Darney Buehler. “We have been in contact with NYSDOH representatives to request that the USDA expand their oral rabies vaccination program into the mid to lower section of the Champlain Valley corridor when bait drops occur this summer.”
Bait drops are a common method used to distribute rabies vaccines to wildlife. Bait laced with medicine is dropped by ground or air, depending on the environment and wildlife.
In order to reduce the risk of being exposed to an animal infected with rabies, Essex County has several recommendations. These include keeping all pets and livestock up-to-date on rabies vaccination; not touching or adopting wild or stray animals; feeding pets indoors; and tightly capping garbage cans.
Anyone who believes their pet has been exposed to the saliva, brain or flesh of a rabid animal should contact their veterinarian, and contact Essex County at (518) 873-3500. If a person believes they have themselves been exposed, they should wash any wounds thoroughly, report the incident to the same phone number, and seek immediate medical attention.