“They’re trying to determine the best time of year, the best method of delivery, the best density per square kilometer,” Mitchell explained. “They’re still trying to work out the best options for doing this (bait drop).”
Essex and Franklin counties have completed their spring rabies clinics but will be scheduling more in the fall.
“We vaccinated a total of 581 animals from January through May, including 406 animals vaccinated in our spring clinics,” said Susan Allott, director of preventive services for the Essex County Health Department.
Essex County has had four cases of rabies this year: two skunks and two raccoons, she added. The positive cases were in Chesterfield, Willsboro and Ticonderoga.
“We are only submitting specimens from rabies-vector species (for testing) with saliva contact with humans or saliva contact with an unvaccinated domestic animal,” Allot said.
FRANKLIN OK SO FAR
Franklin County has not had a positive rabies case since 2010, when a rabid bat turned up, said Kathleen Strack, public-health director for the county.
“We are currently working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the St. Lawrence Health Department on an enhanced (rabies) surveillance north of Route 11,” she said.
“We are paying special attention to any rabies-vector species that display any abnormal behavior.”
Thus far, 13 raccoons have been sent in for testing, but all tested negative.
“Rabies is in Clinton County and in St. Lawrence County,” she said. “We are right in the middle and want to stay pro-active.”
HOW TO TRAP A BAT
Bats are also of concern for spreading rabies and should be taken seriously when encountered indoors, Mitchell noted.
“We always try to remind people about bats. If you find a bat in the home, especially if someone has been sleeping in the room, you should call us.”