A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Delaware County. This is the first animal testing positive for rabies in 2014, according to Heather Warner, Health Education Coordinator for Delaware County Public Health Services. The raccoon attacked a dog in the village of Stamford. The raccoon was dispatched and sent to NYS State Rabies Laboratory for testing. The owner of the dog reported that the incident occurred during the day, a strange behavior for raccoons. The positive test results were received Thursday March 13, 2014. Delaware County had no animals testing positive for rabies in 2013.
Once infected, rabies is a virus that has 100% fatality rate in all mammals, including humans. Public Health recommends the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from possible exposure to rabies:
- Report any sick or strange acting wildlife
- Vaccinate pets and livestock. New York State law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age. Vaccinating your domestic animal not only provides protection for the animal, but vaccinated pets act as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.
- Vaccination is also recommended for livestock with frequent human contact.
- Do not feed wildlife or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
- Do not feed strays. According to Public Health Law an owner is defined as any person keeping, harboring, or having charge or control of or permitting any dog, cat or domesticated ferret to remain on or be lodged or fed within such person’s house yard or premises.
- Do not approach an unknown animal, either wild or domestic, especially if it is acting in a strange or unusual manner.
- Report all animal bites and any contact with bats to the Health Department in your county. Human rabies can be prevented after exposure by administering a series of shots.
- Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
- Children should be instructed to tell an adult immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.
- If an unvaccinated pet comes in contact with rabid or suspected rabies the pet must be quarantined for six months.
- Vaccinated pets that come in contact with rabid or suspected rabies animal must be given a booster rabies vaccination within five days of the contact.
Delaware County Public Health has begun to schedule 2014 rabies clinics. The scheduled rabies clinics are as follows:
Thursday, March 27, 2014 from 6PM-8PM at the Delhi Fire Department
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 from 6PM-8PM at the Stamford Village Highway Garage
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 4PM-6PM at Brookside Veterinary Hospital, Arkville, NY
Wednesday May 14, 2014 from 4PM-6PM at Pindars Corners Fire Department
Friday May 23, 2014 from 5PM-7PM at Roxbury Town Garage
Wednesday June 11, 2014 from 6PM-8PM at the Walton Town Highway Garage
Friday June 13, 2014 from 5PM-7PM at the Tompkins Town Highway Garage
Wednesday July 9, 2014 from 6PM-8PM at the Deposit Town Clerk Building
Monday July 21, 2014 from 6PM-8PM at the Sidney Fire Hall
Wednesday August 6, 2014 from 4PM-6PM at the Franklin Fire Hall
**Not all 2014 Clinics are scheduled at this time.**
To report a suspected rabid animal call Delaware County Public Health Services at 607-832-5200. For more information call 607-832-5200 or visit our website at www.delawarecountypublichealth.com