Lisa McCafferty, R.S., MPH
Public Health Director


Location & Phone

1062 State Route 38
PO Box 120
Owego, NY 13827

Main Phone:

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Healthy Neighborhoods Program

How Safe Is Your Home?

The Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) provides a free in home assessment focusing on home safety.  An HNP team member can discuss areas where safety can be improved and may also supply FREE items to assist you with making your home safer!

 Tioga County Residents can call 687-8390 to schedule a FREE home safety check!

Public Health Hotline

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Bats and the Risk of Rabies

Last Updated: Monday, May 8, 2017

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you woke up and found a bat in your
house? While finding a bat doesn’t necessarily pose a threat, and should not cause panic,
a bat in your home could potentially be a serious and deadly problem. If you find a bat
and have been bitten or are unsure if you have been bitten, you need to take action
immediately as the bat could have rabies.

So what should you do if you find a bat in your house? The best thing to do is to safely
catch the bat and contact Tioga County Public Health Department (607-687-8600)
immediately to get it tested for rabies. There are several different ways you can catch a
bat. One way is to use a butterfly net, but not a fishing net, as the bat can easily escape a
fishing net. You can also use a coffee can, small garbage can, or similar container and trap
the bat against the floor or wall, and safely slide a piece of wood to trap the bat. Do not
let the bat outside and do not smash its head; this will prevent testing, and a precautionary
rabies shot may need to be given to you, your family, and your pets.

Rabies has a 100% fatality rate! If you or your family members have been bitten by a bat,
or another animal that has rabies, then a 4 shot series is necessary to protect you from
this deadly virus. The first shot will be given immediately, with the other shots to follow on
day 3, day 7 and day 14. If you are ever unsure about what to do, call Tioga County
Public Health Department for advice to ensure you and your family are protected from

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