Raccoon near the Delacorte Theater box office
Photo taken two days ago [12/6/09] by Mitchell Nussbaum
The following item appeared on e-birds yesterday [sent in by Dr. Richard Rabkin]:
December 7, 2009
• Three raccoons collected from the northern end of Central Park have tested positive for rabies in 2009, two during the past week.
o A fourth raccoon from Manhattan tested positive in July 2009 but was collected near Inwood Park.
o To date in 2009, 20 animals have tested positive for rabies in NYC; 14 raccoons from the Bronx, 4 raccoons from Manhattan, 1 raccoon from Queens and 1 bat from Staten Island.
I promptly e-mailed Regina Alvarez, the Woodlands Manager and our major source of wildlife information, to ask for confirmation of this item. She responded:
Hi Marie -
Here's the Press Release sent out yesterday from the Dep't of Health:
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
AND MENTAL HYGIENE
Commissioner FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(212) 788-5290<>Health Department Cautions New Yorkers to Avoid Wild Animals and
Vaccinate Pets against Rabies <>
Three rabid raccoons identified in
Raccoons are the most commonly reported rabid animal in
People and unvaccinated animals can get rabies, most often from a bite by an infected animal. Infection leads to a severe brain disease that causes death unless the person is treated promptly. Despite the risk, there has not been a human case of rabies in
- Do not touch or feed wild animals, or stray dogs or cats.
- Keep garbage in tightly sealed containers.
- Stay away from any animal that is behaving aggressively or a wild animal that appears ill or is acting unusually friendly. Call 311 or your local police precinct to report the animal.
- If you find a bat indoors that may have had contact with someone, don’t release it before calling 311 to determine whether it should be tested. For information on how to safely capture a bat, visit http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies/
To protect your pet against rabies:<>· Make sure your dog or cat is up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.
· Keep your dog leashed while outdoors unless at a specified off-leash area or park.
· Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended.
· Do not try to separate animals that are fighting.
· If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact your veterinarian, and report the incident to 311.
· Feed pets indoors.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal:
- Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and water.
- Seek medical care from your health care provider.
- If the animal is un-owned and can be captured, call 311.
- If the animal is a pet, get the owner’s name, address and telephone number to give to the Health Department so they can ensure the animal is not rabid.
- Call the Animal Bite Unit (212-676-2483) between and during the week to report the bite. You can call 212-POISONS (764-7667) during after hours and on weekends. You can also file a report online at www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/vet/vetegp.shtml.
- For information about medical follow-up, call 311 or your medical provider.
For more information about rabies in