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Boy bitten by rabid raccoon in Chautauqua County

Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 17:01:59-04

TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY, N.Y. (WKBW) — A boy in Chautauqua County was bitten by a rabid raccoon while hunting, according to the Environmental Health Unit of the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Humans Services.

Officials say this is the first known rabid animal in the county of the year.

According to the Department of Health and Humans Services, the boy was turkey hunting with his father near Open Meadows Road in the Town of North Harmony over the weekend when the raccoon latched onto his jacket, biting him.

“This incident should serve as a reminder to residents, particularly outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, hunters, etc.), that animal rabies is a serious public health concern and continues to be present in Chautauqua County,” said Mark Stow, County Director of Environmental Health Services. “Raccoons are, by far, the animal most likely to be rabid in the state.”

The Department of Health and Humans Services is reminding the public that about one in ten animals infected by the rabies virus will become aggressive and attack with no incitement, while other rabid animals may appear tame.

There are free rabies vaccination clinics available to the public in Chautauqua County throughout the year.

For more information, click here.