Rabies Update

     BINGHAMTON, NY - Robert Denz, Environmental Health Services Director for the Broome County Health Department reported today that two events occurred mid-week involving exposure to wild animals. Two children touched a live bat lying on the ground at a playground. In another incident an adult touched a live fox kitten at her residence. Both animals are being tested to determine if they have rabies.

While the likelihood of rabies transmission from a non-bite contact is low, it is still possible. Parents, guardians, and others with young children under their care are encouraged to remind children to avoid all wild animals and to never touch them. If they see a wild animal that does not leave the area, they should tell an adult.

Mr. Denz also reminds all people to avoid direct contact with unfamiliar or wild animals and to never bring them into your home. Protect your pet(s) by never allowing them to roam free. Consider keeping them indoors at night and make sure they get a rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccination is mandatory by Public Health Law for dogs, cats, and ferrets once they are four months old. If an unvaccinated pet is exposed to rabies, the owner may either have the animal euthanized or confine it to a cage for six months.

As warm weather approaches there will be an increase in encounters between rabid wildlife and humans and their pets. Since 1991, when the first rabid raccoon was found in Broome County, it has been determined that rabid animals can be expected throughout Broome County, not only in specific geographic areas. Because rabies exists in Broome County, all county residents should avoid wild animals, stray pets and pets they do not know.

If you are bitten, scratched or have contact with an animal you believe to be rabid, immediately wash the wound, attempt to capture the animal if it can be done safely, seek medical attention, and report the incident to the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.2887. After normal business hours, residents with urgent inquiries can call, Broome County Emergency Dispatch at 607.778.1911. A dispatcher will then contact Health Department staff for you.

Residents who have not had their dogs, cats or domesticated ferrets vaccinated are encouraged to make an appointment with a Veterinarian or attend one of these upcoming clinics:

  • Endicott - Saturday, May 14, 11:00 a.m. - Noon
    Fire Station - N. Page Avenue
  • Conklin - Saturday, May 21, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    709 Conklin Rd. - Mike's Barber Shop
  • Town of Binghamton - Monday, May 23, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Highway Garage - Hawleyton Road
  • City of Binghamton - Saturday, June 4, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
    Fire Station #4 - Robinson Street
  • Fenton - Tuesday, June 7, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Fire Station Pavilion (across CV State Park)
  • Windsor - Wednesday, June 15, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Town Garage
  • Colesville - Friday, June 17, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Town Garage
  • Whitney Point - Friday, June 24, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Fire Station - Main Street

Vaccinations are available at no cost. A $5.00 donation is requested but not required. All animals must be at least three-months-old and under the control of the owner at the clinic. Animal owners must bring a Certificate of Immunization to the clinic for animals immunized previously.

For more information about rabies, call the Broome County Health Department information line at 607.778.3911, option 1, or visit our web site at www.goBroomeCounty.com/safety and follow links for Rabies Information.