Youngstown clinic targets spread of rabies - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown clinic targets spread of rabies

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A clinic organized by the  Youngstown City Health District over the weekend targeted the potentially deadly rabies virus from spreading from the wild to pets and humans.

Dr. Lisa Kurtz with East Park Veterinary Clinic in Columbiana County has been volunteering her time for over a decade to vaccinate dogs and cats  so the pets can develop an immunity from rabies

Transmission can occur when saliva containing the rabies virus is introduced into an opening in the skin, usually from a  bite of a rabid animal.

Rabies also spreads through infected saliva, contacting mucous membranes, or a scratch, or other break in the skin.

Mucous membranes includes tissue in the mouth, nose, and eyelids.

Dogs, cats, and ferrets can contract the virus from another rabid animal such as a bat, raccoon, or even another rabid dog or cat.

So far this spring the state of Ohio has found rabies in some wild animals in the Valley.

Youngstown Health District Environmental Director, Tara Choffi said, "Right now we're seeing that some of our wildlife specimens we've sent in, like bats, skunks, raccoons, and things like that, that have had rabies. We want to protect our animals and ourselves from this potentially deadly virus that is completely preventable." 

The effort not only helps protects pets, but people. "It's spread through bite wounds, so if a dog or cat is bitten by an animal that is infected with rabies, then we can get it through a bite or saliva from an infected dog or cat through an open wound,"said Dr. Kurtz. " Cats also should be vaccinated since bats can get in homes or if a cat goes outside it can come in contact with an infected animal and get rabies. If that happens there is no cure for rabies in animals, and painful shots are needed to avoid potential death in humans."

 The clinic is appreciated by pet owners like Jasmine Warren who brought her dog. "Six dollars is a great price. It usually costs at least 25 dollars at the vet, so that helps because I'm a college student too,"said Warren. "It's nice because this clinic for our pets is right here in the community and easy for everyone to come bring their pets."

The Youngstown city health district offers the rabies clinic twice a year. 

You can check out their website or call the office at (330) 743-3333 for more information.

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