Raccoon tests positive for rabies in Stamford
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. Delaware County had no animals testing positive for rabies in 2013.
Once infected, rabies is a virus that has 100 percent 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 four months of age. Vaccinating your domestic animal not only provides protection for the animal, but also 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: Wednesday, April 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stamford Village Highway Garage, Tuesday, May 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Brookside Veterinary Hospital, Arkville, Wednesday, May 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Pindars Corners Fire Department, Friday, May 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Roxbury Town Garage, Wednesday, June 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Walton Town Highway Garage, Friday, June 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tompkins Town Highway Garage, Wednesday, July 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Deposit Town Clerk Building, Monday, July 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sidney Fire Hall, and Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. 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: delawarecounty publichealth.com.