The Nassau County Health Department has asked us to alert pet owners that a raccoon recently collected in Hicksville tested positive for Rabies. It had come into contact with a domestic animal. It is the first rabid raccoon identified since 2007.
While classically, rabies is transmitted through being bitten by an infected animal, the virus may also be contracted if a rabid animal’s saliva comes into contact with cut, open or scratched skin.
Nassau & Suffolk Counties will be intensifying surveillance for rabid animals as a result of this finding. They request co-operation from the public and have issued the following advice.
1) Please verify that all pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, livestock & horses, are current with their rabies vaccines. New York State Law requires all dogs, cats & domesticated ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies.
2) Keep dogs, cats & ferrets leashed when outside.
3)Never touch or contact any wild animal (including stray/ feral cats.) Keep well away from any unknown or wild animal that seems to be sick or acting in an unusual way.
4) Never touch dead or dying wildlife. If you must remove a carcass, use a shovel, wear gloves, and double bag it.
5)Tell children to inform you at once should they be bitten or scratched by any animal.
6) Notify the Health Department if a bat is found in a room where anyone was sleeping, or in a room with a child.
7) Never feed pets outside & never feed stray or unknown animals around your home.
8) keep garbage cans tightly covered, do not store any food outside.
Individuals bitten or scratched by any unknown animal should immediately contact their physicians or go to the Emergency Room and then call:
The Nassau County Department of Health: 516 227 9663 (business hours), or 516 742 6154 (out of hours) or
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services: 631 473 4439 (business hours), or 631 8524820 (nights, weekends & holidays)