LIBERTY — With the coming of warm weather, and
increased contact between wildlife, humans and their pets, the Sullivan
County Public Health Nursing Service reminds all Sullivan County
residents that it is prepared to help anyone who may have been exposed
to rabies or who has questions about the disease.
Pet owners need to know that if an unvaccinated
pet, or one that's overdue on its vaccination, comes in contact
with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must either be destroyed
or strictly quarantined for six months. It is also essential that
all pet vaccinations are kept up to date. Vaccinated animals that
come in contact with wild animals can be given booster vaccinations,
but these shots must be administered within five days of exposure.
Bat rabies continues to be of particular concern.
Although 99 percent of all bats tested by the State Health Department
are negative for rabies, residents must remain aware of the risks
of developing rabies from any contact with a bat. If you find a
bat in your home, immediately contact Sullivan County Public Health
Here are some common sense steps you can follow
to avoid exposure to rabies:
- If you
are bitten, scratched or have contact with an animal you believe
to be rabid, immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention
and report the incident to Public Health Nursing Service.
- To avoid
unnecessary rabies treatment, all potentially rabid animals which
may have exposed someone, should be confined and observed or tested
for rabies. Contact Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service.
a bite from a rabid animal is the primary way for rabies to be
transmitted, contact the Sullivan County Public Health Nursing
Service regarding exposure after any contact with an animal that
may be rabid.
- Avoid contact
with any wild animal. Be suspicious of wild animals that are unusually
tame or aggressive, especially those that attack your pets. Do
not attract wild or stray animals to your yard by feeding them.
- Do not
handle pets with bare hands after an involvement with a suspected
rabid wild animal. Pet owners should keep a pair of thick gloves
handy for just such situations, and should bathe pets after wildlife
encounters whenever possible.
- Seek advice
regarding bat roosts in homes. Immediately report any possible
contact with bats, including bats in rooms with sleeping persons,
unattended children or individuals with mental impairment.
The staff of Sullivan County Public Health Nursing
Service is available 24 hours daily to respond to rabies questions.
SPCA of Sullivan County, Jeffersonville and Tri-Valley
Lions Clubs will hold the following rabies clinics in 2001:
May 22 —
Town Barn in Livingston Manor, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by
May 23 —
Narrowsburg Firehouse, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL
June 5 —
Callicoon Center Fire Department, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored
by the SPCA
June 6 —
Grahamsville Fairgrounds, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by the
June 27 —
Eldred Town Hall, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL
July 11 —
Morningside Park Pavilion/Fallsburg, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored
July 18 —
Liberty Firehouse on Sprague Ave., 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored
July 25 —
Town of Thompson Highway Dept, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by
— Kauneonga Lake Firehouse Polebarn/Bethel, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.,
sponsored by the SPCA
— Town of Mamakating Highway Dept., 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored
5 — Grahamsville Fairgrounds, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by
the Tri-Valley Lions
Pets should be at least three months old, in a
container or on a leash. Owners are asked to bring pet's documented
vaccination record or a prior rabies vaccination certificate. A
donation is suggested at all clinics. For routine inquiries and
requesting information call 845/292-0100, ext. 1.