BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Health officials say two Erie County residents have been bitten by rabid animals in the past week.
On Wednesday, a 15-month-old baby in West Seneca was bitten by a rabid bat that had gotten into the child’s bedroom. Then on Thursday, an Alden man was bitten by a rabid raccoon while he tried to stop the animal from attacking his dog.
There was another incident in a Buffalo home on Thursday, were a rabid bat was found inside, but in that case no one was bitten.
So far in 2014, 13 animals have tested positive for rabies in Erie County, including five raccoons, five bats, a cat, a skunk and a fox.
A human rabies virus infection can be fatal, and the Department of Health says it should be notified about every potential exposure.
Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said, “If you do find a bat in your house, and you’re concerned about a possible rabies exposure, you want to make sure that, if you can, ideally would be to capture the bat with the brain intact.”
“Try to take a big coffee can and trap it against the wall and capture it. And you can bring it to the [Erie County] Health Department and we can send it to the New York State Department of Health laboratory to test it for rabies.”
You can call animal control services or the Erie County Health Department for help with with a suspected rabid animal 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On evenings and weekends, the emergency number is 961-7898.
Erie County will offer three additional free rabies clinics in September:
•Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Erie Community College-North Campus, 6205 Main Street, Noonan Center – Maintenance Garage, Amherst
•Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Springville Fire Company, 405 W. Main St., Springville
•Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
West Seneca Highway Garage, 39 South Ave. (off Union near NYS 400), West Seneca