What Is Rabies and How Do People Get It?
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies (a rabid animal). Any wild mammal, like a raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat, can have rabies and transmit it to people. It is also possible, but quite rare, that people may get rabies if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound. Click here for the CDC’s website for additional rabies information.
Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goals of public health are to prevent human exposure to rabies by education and to prevent the disease by anti-rabies treatment if exposure occurs. Tens of thousands of people are successfully treated each year after being bitten by an animal that may have rabies. A few people die of rabies each year in the United States, usually because they do not recognize the risk of rabies from the bite of a wild animal and do not seek medical advice.
Where Do I Report a Bite or Exposure?
Animal bites and exposures need to be reported to the appropriate county health department according to where the individual and animal live as well as where the exposure occurred. When reporting animal bites or exposures to your public health department, please review where the exposure occurred, where the individual resides, and where the animal resides.
If exposure occurred outside of the county, to a person who is not a resident of the county, and an animal resides outside of the county, please contact the appropriate county health department.
What To Do If You Need To Report a Bite To Saratoga County Public Health
Please complete the Saratoga County Public Health Animal Bite Report Form and fax it to 518-583-1202.
Any questions or concerns may be directed to the Rabies Coordinator at 518-584-7460 extension 8355.
Providers with questions may contact the on-call public health nurse at 518-584-7460 outside regular business hours.
Contact info for other local public health departments:
Albany County phone: 518-447-4625 fax: 518-447-4501
Fulton County phone: 518-736-5720 fax: 518-762-1381
Rensselaer County phone: 518-270-2643 fax: 518-270-2973
Schenectady County phone: 518-386-2818 fax: 518-386-2822
Warren County phone: 518-761-6415 fax: 518-761-6422
Washington County phone: 518-746-2400 fax: 518-746-2461
For information regarding Saratoga County Rabies Clinics, please use the above link or contact the Saratoga County Animal Shelter directly at 518-885-4113
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