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Niagara County Department of Health warns public about 2 rabies investigations

The health department is reminding residents that human exposure to rabies is fatal unless treated in a timely fashion.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
A captured raccoon peers through the bars of a trap in Grand Isle, Vt., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. A federal program is trying to stop rabies from crossing the border into Canada. Bait has been dropped from airplanes, raccoons have been trapped and vaccinated and others are routinely trapped, tested for the vaccine levels, and then released. The program runs from Maine west to Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — The Niagara County Department of Health is investigating two instances of potential exposure to rabies.

The health department says the first incident happened on May 26 when a Niagara Falls man was bit by a dog on the 600 block of 17th Street in Niagara Falls. The dog was tested for rabies; however, the specimen came back untestable for rabies and is therefore presumed positive.

The dog is described as a large black/tan shepherd-husky mix.

According to the police report, the dog could have attacked more than one person. If you were bitten by this dog, please contact the Niagara County Department of Health immediately at (716) 439-7444.

The health department says the second incident occurred on May 28 when a Niagara Falls resident was handing out baby raccoons at the 7-Eleven convenience store located at 1502 Pine Avenue. Seven of nine raccoons have been recovered with assistance by the Niagara Falls Police Department and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; however, the health department is trying to locate the last two.

The Niagara County Department of Health says possession of raccoons presents a potential rabies hazard to anyone in direct contact with the animal. Possession of raccoons is also illegal except by a licensed rehabilitator.

Anyone with information about the location of the raccoons is asked to contact the Niagara County Department of Health at (716) 439-7444 so they can conduct a complete rabies investigation.

The health department is reminding residents that human exposure to rabies is fatal unless treated in a timely fashion.

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