County issues warning following reported fox bites

(Photo via Unsplash).

Cortland County has issued a warning following reports of fox bites in the area, according to a release.

After reports of fox bites in the southeast area of the City of Cortland, the county health department issued a public awareness notice in an effort to avoid further potential incidents.

Anyone in the area of Route 11/Port Watson Street, Pendleton Street and the Tioughnioga River should be alert of potential sightings or interactions with wild foxes.

The county health department is collaborating with other local agencies involved in addressing the matter.

Noted in the release, “Avoid any contact with a fox seen wandering in this area which appears lethargic, unhealthy or aggressive.”

According to the release, if anyone is bitten or scratched by a fox, the county health department recommends:

  • Cleaning the wound – Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water for at least 10 minutes. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of rabies infection.
  • Seek medical attention – If you or your pet have had direct physical contact with a fox, or any wild animal, seek medical or veterinary attention immediately. Prompt and/or appropriate medical treatment is the best way to prevent the onset of rabies.

The release also states preventative measures provided by the county health department, including:

  • Avoid Wildlife: Do not approach or attempt to feed wild animals, including foxes. Keep a safe distance and ensure that children and pets are kept away also.
  • Avoid stray animals, especially cats. Feed your pets indoors.
  • Vaccinate your pets: Ensure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations, which are essential for health but also required by law.
  • Secure Garbage: Properly secure garbage cans and eliminate potential food sources which may attract wildlife.
  • Educate your Community: Share information with neighbors, friends and community members to raise awareness.

“Residents are urged to be vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect themselves, their families and their pets from rabies year-round,” stated in the release.