Health District Cautions Public on Animal Bites, Rabies
Apr 26, 2013
DELAWARE, Oh. – Springtime in Delaware County can result in more than just warmer weather and pretty flowers, it is also a time where we see an increase in animal bites.
The Delaware General Health District wants the public to know about the importance of getting pets immunized against rabies. Recently, a Galena family noticed a coyote exhibiting unusual behavior by sunning itself in their yard. The family dog was attacked when it was let outside and the coyote escaped. Unfortunately, the family pet had to be put down due to its rabies shots not being up-to-date.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease that can spread to people and pets when the saliva from a rabid animal enters the body by way of a bite or a scratch, or through contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. It is widespread in Ohio, therefore the Delaware General Health District’s registered sanitarians promptly and diligently investigate all possible exposures.
Animals which might have rabies are humanely euthanized for testing or quarantined until it is certain they do not have the disease.
If you are bitten by an animal, DGHD encourages you to take the following steps:
• Immediately consult a physician.
• Fill out and submit a Rabies Incident Bite Report form available at www.delawarehealth.org or by calling 740-368-1700.
• If you have captured a bat in your home, this is considered an exposure and should be reported to the Health District.
• Contact a DGHD Residential Services staff member to discuss the nature of the exposure. Any domesticated animal involved in a rabies exposure needs to be quarantined or tested for rabies. Wild animals are generally submitted for testing.
For questions relating to rabies control or other residential environmental health issues, call 740-368-1700 or visit DGHD on the web.