Broome County Health Department Announces First Rabies Clinic for 2009

Broome County Health Department Announces

BINGHAMTON, NY – The Broome County Health Department, in conjunction with the Animal Aid and Relief Foundation, will hold a rabies clinic on Saturday, February 28, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Fire Station #2, 320 Kattelville Road, Chenango Bridge, New York.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system. The virus is transmitted through the saliva, usually from a bite of a rabid animal. Skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats are typical carriers of rabies.  

Rabies continues to be a problem in Broome County. In 2008, 122 rabies specimens were shipped for testing, 5 tested positive; 1 bat, 3 skunks, and 1 raccoon. Over 700 animal bites were reported, resulting in 115 people receiving post exposure prophylaxis [treatment] (PPE).
 
The Broome County Health Department urges all residents to take these common sense steps to avoid exposure to rabies: 
  • Avoid contact with any wild animal. Be especially suspicious of wild animals that are unusually tame or aggressive.
  • Do not invite wild animals into your yard by feeding them.
  • Tightly cap garbage cans and do not feed pets outside.
  • Avoid contact, and teach children to avoid contact, with stray pets.
  • Do not handle pets with bare hands for several hours after any involvement with a suspected rabid wild animal. Pet owners should keep a pair of thick gloves handy for just such situations. Always wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoid contact with the saliva of any animal, including pets, that may be rabid or that may have been exposed to rabies.
  • Seek medical advice regarding exposure after any contact with an animal that may be rabid.
  • Seek advice regarding bat roosts in homes by calling the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.2887.
If you are bitten, scratched or have contact with a pet, domestic animal, wild animal or bat, immediately wash the wound or contact area, seek medical attention, and report the incident to the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.2887. Every attempt should be made to obtain information about where the pet cat or dog lives. Obtain the owner’s name, address and phone number, so that necessary actions can be taken to have the pet observed for rabies. Wild animals or bats should be captured, if possible, so they can be tested. (An 80-second video on the proper technique for safely capturing a bat found in one's home is available on the New York State Department of Health website www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies/).
Care should be taken to prevent additional bites or damage to the animal’s head, which must be intact for rabies testing. Rabies testing can eliminate the need for PPE.  Residents with urgent inquiries after normal business hours can call Broome County Emergency Dispatch at 607.778.1911. A dispatcher will then contact health department staff for you.
 
With the warmer weather approaching, more people are allowing their pets to go outdoors increasing the risk for them to have encounters with wild animals. Pet owners need to be vigilant about keeping their pet vaccines up-to-date.
 
Anyone with a dog, cat or ferret that is in need of a rabies vaccination is urged to attend the clinic. Animals receiving their first vaccination must be at least 3-months old. A $5 donation per animal is requested to help cover the cost of the clinic but is not required. All pets will be vaccinated regardless of ability to donate. If your pet has had a previous rabies vaccination, bring the certificate with you so that your pet may receive a three year vaccination. Without the certificate, your pet will receive a one-year vaccination. Pets must be on a leash or in a crate while at the clinic.
 
A complete schedule of the Broome County Health Department and Animal Aid and Relief Foundation sponsored clinics will be available in mid March. To hear the schedule, call the Broome County Health Department information line at 607.778.3911, option 1, or to view the on-line calendar of rabies clinics visit the Broome County Health Department website at www.gobroomecounty.com/hd

 

02/13/2009 - 4:00pm