Rabid raccoons found in New York City
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Rabid raccoons have been identified in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx in recent weeks, prompting the Department of Health to remind New Yorkers to stay away from raccoons, skunks, bats, stray dogs and cats and other wild animals that can carry rabies.
Six rabid animals, all raccoons, have been found in New York City this year. Four were found in the Bronx, one in Manhattan (near Inwood Hill Park) and one in Queens (Long Island City). Raccoons are the most commonly reported rabid animals in New York City. Rabid raccoons are a relatively common occurrence in Staten Island and the Bronx, but rare in Queens and Manhattan. Bats with rabies have also been found in all five boroughs.
People and unvaccinated animals can get rabies, most often through a bite from an infected animal. Infection leads to a severe brain disease that causes death unless the person is treated promptly after being bitten. To reduce the risk of rabies, New Yorkers should avoid all wild animals, as well as any animal that seems sick, disoriented or unusually placid or aggressive. Report such animals by calling 311. Animals that have attacked or may attack should be reported to 911.
In 2008, 19 animals tested positive for rabies in New York City. They included 13 from the Bronx (four raccoons, seven skunks, one bat and one cat) and four from Staten Island Staten Island (all raccoons), as well as a bat from Brooklyn and a raccoon from Queens.
To protect yourself against rabies:
If you find a bat indoors that may have had contact with someone, do not release it before calling 311 to determine whether it should be tested. For information on how to safely capture a bat, CLICK HERE.
To protect your pet against rabies:
If you are bitten by an animal:
For information about medical follow-up, call 311 or your medical provider. For more information about rabies in New York City, CLIC HERE.
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