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Health Department Warns of Report of a Raccoon Harbored at Poets Landing

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Health Department Warns of Report of a Raccoon Harbored at Poets Landing

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Tompkins County Health Department is notifying the public that a report was received of a raccoon being harbored, possibly as a pet, inside a residence at the Poets Landing Apartments across from the Dryden High School on Freeville Road in the Town of Dryden. The Health Department is seeking to speak with any person who may have had contact with this raccoon in the last two months. There is no risk to other residents of the apartment complex unless they have had contact with a raccoon that resulted in a bite, scratch or saliva contact. 

Raccoons are considered a rabies vector species in New York State. All raccoons are considered as potential rabies carriers unless testing verifies that the raccoon was not infected with the rabies virus. Rabies is normally transmitted by the bite of a wild or domestic rabid mammal. Exposures can also occur if saliva from a rabid animal enters the body through a mucous membrane, a wound that bled within 24 hours prior to the exposure, or an older wound showing signs of a bacterial infection. Raccoons also may carry intestinal parasites and other diseases that can be transmitted to humans and cause serious illness or death. Rehabilitation of raccoons, and any other wildlife, should only be undertaken by trained, NYS DEC licensed rehabilitators and not the general public.

If anyone has had contact with this or any raccoon, or has any questions regarding this incident, please contact the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6688.

The Health Department reminds everyone to:

1. Avoid contact with any unfamiliar cats or dogs and any wild animals.
2. All cats, dogs and ferrets must have initial rabies vaccinations administered no later than four
      months of age.  Keep vaccinations current!
3. Report the following incidents to the Tompkins County Health Department at 274-6688:
• All animal bites or scratches.
• Any human or pet contact with saliva or other potentially infectious material (brain tissue, spinal tissue, or cerebrospinal fluid) of wild animals or any animal suspected of having rabies.
• All bat bites, scratches, or any mere skin contact with a bat, or a bat in a room with a child, or sleeping or impaired person.

Follow the Health Department on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter @TompkinsHealth