Friday, September 7, 2018
Two raccoons found in Springfield and Green townships have tested positive for rabies, according to the Mahoning County Board of Health.
An Ohio Department of Health laboratory tested the raccoons after they came in contact with three domestic dogs.
Ryan Tekac, director of environmental health at the health board, said in both cases the dogs had up-to-date rabies shots and received a booster after the exposure.
Tekac advised residents to vaccinate their pets, reduce their contact with wildlife and to avoid contact with wildlife and stray animals.
“Let the wildlife be the wildlife, but if there is human exposure, seek medical treatment and call your local health department,” Tekac said.
People should wash any animal bites thoroughly and follow up with a physician. The disease is deadly and most often transmitted through bites and scratches from unvaccinated pets, strays and wildlife.
The health board provides rabies vaccination clinics about four times a year.
It is mandatory to vaccinate all dogs, cats and ferrets in Mahoning County. Tekac said it carries out baiting to control rabies in the wildlife population, but residents should avoid trying to interact with or feed wildlife.
If area residents find a sick or dead raccoon, skunk or fox that is not decayed, they should contact the health board at 330-270-2855. Youngstown residents can call the city health department at 330-743-3333.