With four cases already reported this year, experts are warning residents in Chenango County to stay away from animals possibly infected with rabies.

Over the past few months, two cases have been reported in the Hamlet of Preston, and this year's case total already equals last year's.

However, what is most concerning for experts is public intervention, with the latest reported case of rabies on may 30th involving a resident being scratched.

Due to this danger, Isaiah Sutton, public health director for Chenango County, warns locals to be mindful when encountering a potential rabies case.

"We really encourage folks who come across a wild animal that they believe to be sick or any wild animal to want to leave it alone," Sutton said. "There's very little reason to handle it like that. I know they're cute and they may look vulnerable, but interjecting is a hazard."

If you do happen to come across a rabies infested animal, call your local county's health authority for advice on how to handle the situation.