Raccoon tests positive for rabies

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2017
Contact: Heather Warner, Health Education Coordinator Tel. (607) 832-5200 | heather.warner@co.delaware.ny.us

Raccoon tests positive for rabies

Two dogs in the Town of Walton came into contact with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies. There was no human exposure reported. One of the exposed dog’s rabies vaccinations was not up to date when the incident occurred. The dog owner is working with Delaware County Public Health and Town of Walton officials to ensure the dog will be quarantined according to NYSDOH guidelines for 6 months. The other dog that was exposed was up to date on it’s rabies vaccination, received a booster, and will not need to be quarantined.

Public Health has conducted 12 of the 16 scheduled rabies clinics for 2017. An exposure to rabies can be fatal for a human or a pet. Vaccination of pets and other animals represents the best preventive measure available. Be a responsible pet owner by keeping your pet’s vaccinations current. Getting your pet vaccinated by your vet or at a free clinic can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans. Public Health recommends that pet owners take advantage of any of the free remaining rabies clinics in Delaware County.

  • July 19, 2017, from 6PM-8PM, at the Delhi Fire Hall, 140 Delview Terrace, Delhi, NY 13753
  • August 9, 2017, from 4PM-6PM, at the Franklin Fire Hall, 351 Main St., Franklin, NY 13775
  • August 23, 2017, from 5PM-7PM, at the Sidney Fire Hall, 74 River St., Sidney, NY 13838
  • October Rabies Clinic in Delhi; date and time pending

Once infected, rabies is a virus that has 100% fatality rate when left untreated, in 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.

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