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    Three cats exposed after rabid bat found in Jefferson County

    By Dan Mount,


    WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – The Jefferson County Department of Public Health has announced that a bat in the town of Theresa has tested positive for rabies.

    The New York State Department of Health reported to the JCPHS that a bat has tested positive for rabies. The bat was located in the Town of Theresa and was submitted by public health for testing.

    Rabid skunk found in Jefferson County Town of LeRay

    There were no known human exposures according to the county department of public health. However, three cats were exposed to the infected animal. One cat was fully vaccinated against rabies, two other cats were not up to date on their rabies vaccination and must complete a six-month quarantine.

    Rabies is a fatal disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It can take up to several weeks or several months for rabies symptoms to appear. Early treatment after an exposure can prevent rabies in humans and in pets who are up to date on vaccination. Any mammal can get rabies, but it is most often seen in bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Animals do not have to be aggressive or behave erratically to have rabies. Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies.

    Here are some things you can do to prevent the spread of rabies:

    • Teach children to stay away from unfamiliar animals, either wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. Remind them to tell you if they have any unusual contact with an animal.
    • Do not leave pet food outside as it attracts wildlife to your home.
    • Wash any wound from an animal encounter thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
    • Be a responsible pet owner by keeping your pet’s vaccinations current – even strictly indoor pets. Getting your pet vaccinated by your vet or at a clinic (Petco, Tractor Supply and Pet Supplies Plus offer rabies vaccination clinics) can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans. JCPHS is hosting a rabies vaccination clinic on Thursday, June 20 5–7p.m. at Jefferson County Dog Control. Visit for more information.
    • Monitor your pet when they are outside. If your pet is involved in an altercation with a wild
      animal, do not get in between them. Do not touch your pet without gloves as rabies is spread through saliva. Cover your pet with a towel and contact your vet as your pet may need a booster shot.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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