Rabies - Rochester, NY area 


If you believe you have been exposed to a rabid animal, call your doctor. If you observe an aggressive or menacing animal, call 911.

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Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to your county health authority. Don’t let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies. Depending on the species, it can be observed or tested for rabies in order to avoid the need for rabies treatment. This includes bats with skin contact or found in a room with a sleeping person, unattended child, or someone with mental impairment. Bats have small, sharp teeth and in certain circumstances people can be bitten and not know it. --NYS Health Dept.


June is Rabies Awareness Month State Health Commissioner Urges New Yorkers: Take Precautions Against Rabies Exposure ALBANY, N.Y. (June 26, 2009) -- Governor David A. Paterson has proclaimed June as Rabies Awareness Month in New York State to remind all New Yorkers to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against rabies exposure from stray and wild animals. "Prevention of rabies continues to be an important public health concern in New York State," said New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Now that summer is here, wild animals become more active, so the possibility of human contact with these animals increases. Although our natural instinct may be to befriend an injured or baby animal or to pet one that seems friendly, any contact with stray and wild animals should be avoided." --from New York State Department of Health


* Immediately contact your local health department for advice on what to do.  Go here for online telephone numbers for Rabies Response Helplines for your county.

Rabies Newslinks for the Rochester, NY area

Follow the incidences and warning of Rabies in our area over the years.


  • Rabies clinic scheduled in Canandaigua The Ontario County Public Health Department will hold a rabies clinic in Canandaigua from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 13 at the Hurley Bulding, 205 Saltonstall St. to vaccinate pets. The clinic is free, and all animals must be older than 3 months. (August 28, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Rabies in our area]
  • Rabid Raccoon Bites Dog A local dog control agency is reminding residents to keep up on their pets' rabies shots after a dog was bitten by a raccoon this week. Hamlin Dog Control says that raccoon tested positive for rabies at the health department. The dog will be quarantined for six months and is receiving treatments. (January 27, 2014) Time Warner Cable News [more on Rabies in our area]


  • USDA tests wildlife rabies vaccine in North Country The U.S. Department of Agriculture is tossing marshmallow-flavored plastic packets of rabies vaccine out of airplanes in northern New York and parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, Ohio, and West Virginia. The work is part of a third U.S. field trial of a vaccine to control rabies in raccoons, skunks and other wildlife. Biologists are evaluating the safety and immune effects of the vaccine. So far, they've found it effective in raccoons, coyotes and foxes, but it hasn't proven effective in combating rabies in skunks. (September 3, 2013) North Country Public Radio [more on Rabies in our area]
  • Rabid skunk in Livingston County A skunk killed in Lima a few weeks ago has tested positive for rabies, according to the Livingston County Department of Health. The skunk was killed in a front yard after it attacked a litter of kittens and given to the health department for analysis. Signs of rabies in wildlife can include: inability to walk, appearance of “drunkenness,” unwillingness to drink water or eat, frothing at the mouth, aggressive behavior and/or a massive swing in temperament. (August 20, 2013) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Rabies in our area]
  • 12th St. Lawrence County animal rabies case reported this year; County Public Health Department issues warning After the 12th confirmed positive rabies report in the county this year, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department warns pet owners to keep their animals’ vaccinations against rabies up to date and to avoid contact with stray dogs, cats, or wildlife following the twelfth So far this year, 11 raccoons and one skunk have tested positive for rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that contracts it. As the warmer weather arrives, wildlife activity increases, and the risk of exposure to rabies can also increase. Baby animals are venturing out into the world but they will most likely be rabid if their mother has rabies. (May 28, 2013) North Country Now [more on Wildlife and Rabies and Environmental Health in our area]


  • Fox attacks 2 people in Tompkins County Police, health officials seek public's help in locating animal Written by | Staff report @ithacajournal FILED UNDER Local News News ITHACA — Two people were attacked in Tompkins County by a fox on Monday. A fox attacked two people in two separate incidents on Monday. A person was attacked on Wilkins Road and one on Dubois Road and the a fox was seen on Hinging Post Road. Law enforcement has been trying to locate the fox but have been unsuccessful as of this release. The Tompkins County Health Departments recommends being very cautious when going outside if you live in the area. The fox is presumed rabid. (July 22, 2013) Ithaca Journal [more on Rabies in our area]





  • June is Rabies Awareness Month June is Rabies Awareness Month State Health Commissioner Urges New Yorkers: Take Precautions Against Rabies Exposure ALBANY, N.Y. (June 26, 2009) -- Governor David A. Paterson has proclaimed June as Rabies Awareness Month in New York State to remind all New Yorkers to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against rabies exposure from stray and wild animals. New York State Department of Health (June 6, 09)  
  • Rabies clinic scheduled - 3/13/09 CLYDE - The Lyons Vet Clinic and Wayne County Public Health Service invite the public to a rabies clinic for pets 1 to 3 p.m. April 25 at the Galen Highway Department on Ford Street in Clyde New York state law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets over the age of 4 months be vaccinated against rabies. (March 14, 09) News Index - Digital Edition Courier-Gazette, Newark NY 14513




  • State Health Department Issues Precaution for New Yorkers to Help Avoid Potential Exposure to Rabies from Wildlife To help protect New Yorkers from the potential exposure to rabies from wildlife, the State Health Department today reminded the public to avoid handling wild animals. The practice of picking up wild animals, particularly offspring, because of their cute and cuddly appearance, often requires unnecessary rabies post exposure treatment for people. Individuals who touch wild animals may have to undergo a month-long series of rabies shots if they are bitten, scratched or had contact with the saliva or nervous tissue of a potentially infected animal, unless it can be euthanized and tested to rule out rabies. Rabies is a fatal disease unless post exposure treatment is given before symptoms occur. (May 31, 2006) - New York State Department of Health


  • State Health Department Reminds New Yorkers to Take Precautions to Protect Themselves, Pets from Rabies ALBANY, May 13, 2005 – State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. today reminded New Yorkers to take precautions against rabies by avoiding contact with any wild animals and vaccinating their pets. As part of the State's public awareness efforts, Governor Pataki has proclaimed May as 'Rabies Awareness Month' in New York State. Dr. Novello said "It is important to note that no humans have been confirmed with rabies in New York State over the past five years. However, rabies is a public health issue that we continue to combat in coordination with communities statewide to help better educate New Yorkers about the disease and the precautions they should take to avoid being exposed to rabid animals." New York State Department of Health



  • Democrat & Chronicle: Bear that killed baby not rabid FALLSBURG — A bear killed a 5-month-old girl Monday, knocking her out of a stroller and carrying her into nearby woods, police said. Ward Stone, state chief wildlife pathologist, said he could not remember a black bear killing a human. (August 20, 2002) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Democrat & Chronicle: Rabid fox suspected in Irondequoit — Irondequoit Animal Control is on the lookout for a potentially rabid fox that attacked at least three people near Titus Avenue Extension over the weekend. Animal Control Supervisor Dick Keppler said a 10-year-old girl was chased Saturday morning by the fox, and a man doing yard work Saturday afternoon felt a tug at his heel and looked down to see a fox biting his shoe.  (June 20, 2002) DemocratandChronicle.com
  • Possible Rabid Fox In Irondequoit Irondequoit, NY - Irondequoit police and animal control are searching for a fox that may be rabid. Four people came into contact with the animal, and two were bitten by it. The fox was first sighted on Shore Road near the Titus Avenue extension by the Irondequoit Bay on Saturday, when it chased a young girl into her home. Later that evening, a man gardening was bitten in the heel of his boot; the bite didn't break the skin. (June 20, 2002) WOKR13.TV
  • Democrat & Chronicle: Rabid bat causes alert in Ontario County middle school June 7, 2002) — GORHAM -- Ontario County health and school officials have alerted parents that some students at Marcus Whitman Middle School were exposed to rabies when a seventh-grader unknowingly brought a dead bat infected with the disease to school on Monday. (June 7, 2002) DemocratandChronicle.com
  •  Boy Brings Bat With Rabies To School Gorham, NY - A seventh grader from Ontario County thought it would be ''neat'' to bring a dead bat to school to show his friends. What he didn't know was that the bat had rabies, and that that has caused much concern at Marcus Whitman Middle School. (June 7, 2002)  WOKR13.TV
  •  Democrat & Chronicle: Rabid raccoons put county on alert — Monroe County officials are concerned after four rabid raccoons were found here in recent months. "There seems to be extra reason to be sure you have your pets immunized," said John Ricci, senior public health educator for Monroe County. (May 21, 2002)  DemocratandChronicle.com
  •  Democrat & Chronicle: Hooray, we're No. 2! NY loses rabies title — ALBANY -- After leading the nation in rabies cases for nearly 10 years, New York state fell to second place last year with 821 confirmed cases. Texas, where rabies is now rampant among skunks, claimed first place last year with more than a thousand cases of the disease. New York has dealt with a rabies epidemic since 1990, when large numbers of raccoons across the Northeast began contracting the disease. At the height of the epidemic in 1993, the state had more than 27-hundred cases. (April 15, 2002) DemocratandChronicle.com
  •  Town residents alerted to rabies' protection As warmer weather approaches, animal control officers issue some do's and don'ts.
    A Greece man's recent exposure to rabies serves as a reminder to town residents that they need to be careful around wild animals, according to Pete Braggins, Greece animal control officer. (April 11, 2002) Greece Post


  • County Warns of Rabid Animals PDF Link: Rabies attacks Fox Cat Bats 2001.pdf --(Wednesday, August 15, 2001) --from Jack Doyle, Monroe County Executive
  •  Rabies infections cause concern -- Monroe County health officials are asking residents to stay clear of any stray or wild animals after several people and two cats were attacked by a rabid fox last week. The fox was killed and tested after it bit two people and confronted two others, exposing them to its saliva. (Wednesday, August 15, 2001) -DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE
  • Rabid Animals Spotted In Perinton And Greece  Rochester, NY - The Monroe County Health Department is warning people to be cautious of animals with rabies. The Health Department says a rabid fox viciously attacked several people in Perinton, and two stray cats were found with rabies--one in Perinton and one in Greece; both incidents occurred last week.  (Tuesday, August 14, 2001) iKnowRochester.com
  •  6 treated for rabies in Newark NEWARK (Friday, May 11, 2001) -- Three children and three adults are undergoing rabies treatments following two separate fox attacks in this Wayne County village. (Friday, May 11, 2001) --DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE
  •  Raccoon That Bit Pittsford Woman Was Rabid Pittsford, NY - A raccoon that bit a Pittsford woman outside her home last weekend tested positive for rabies. The raccoon bit the woman through a boot Sunday on Sutherland Street. The bite was not severe. The Health Department said they have treated everyone they believe was in contact with the raccoon. Health Department regulations required the animal to be destroyed. (January 26, 2001) RochesterToday



Resources for Rabies

Check out information on the prevention for rabies in our area

  • Environmental Health | Public Health Rabies and Animal Bites Phone: 585 753-5864 Responds to reported animal bites and potential exposures, including consultation with medical personnel for follow up on post-exposure medical treatment when necessary. Submits suspected animal specimens to the New York State Laboratory in Albany for rabies analysis. Monitors 10-day confinement and 6-month quarantine of domestic animals involved in human contact or contact with potentially rabid animals. Conducts FREE RABIES IMMUNIZATION CLINICS for dogs and cats owned by Monroe County residents (see LINK below). Immunization records are maintained for animals receiving immunizations at clinics. --from MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY
  • Rabies (hydrophobia) Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It can be transmitted from infected mammals to humans and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. Fortunately, only a few human cases are reported each year in the United States.  -from New York State Department of Health
  • Home | CDC Rabies Working together to make rabies history! --from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Batcon.org Bats Conservation International-- The mission of Bat Conservation International is to protect and restore bats and their habitats worldwide.  Probably the most comprehensive resource for bat information on the Internet.
  • Rabies.com--Dedicated as a resource to help clinicians prevent and treat rabies in the United States of America, to provide clinicians with the resources to help people understand rabies and its prevention, and to increase rabies awareness.