Raccoon tests Positive for Rabies in Sidney – Sept. 2, 2015

Amanda Walsh, MPH      Public Health Director
607-832-5200             Fax 607-832-6021
Early Intervention & Preschool Fax: 607-832-6022

September 2, 2015
Contact: Heather Warner, Health Education Coordinator
Tel. (607) 832-5200 | heather.warner@co.delaware.ny.us

Raccoon tests Positive for Rabies in Sidney

A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Delaware County.  This is the first animal testing positive for rabies in 2015, according to Heather Warner, Health Education Coordinator for Delaware County Public Health Services. The raccoon was sent to NYS State Rabies Laboratory for testing.  The positive test results were received Monday September 1, 2015. There was no human exposure.  The domestic animal that was possibly exposed to the rabid raccoon has been immunized against rabies, and is not in danger of contracting the disease.

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.

Delaware County Public Health has conducted 14 rabies clinics in 2015 with one clinic remaining on:

10/14/2015, 6PM-8PM, Delhi Fire Hall, 140 Delview Terrace, Delhi, NY 13753

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

Endorsed by:

Amanda C. Walsh, MPH

Public Health Director