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HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS SEEKING A PERSON THAT BROUGHT A RACCOON TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL FOR ANIMALS

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HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS SEEKING A PERSON THAT BROUGHT A RACCOON TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL FOR ANIMALS

Monday, July 27, 2020

HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS SEEKING A PERSON THAT BROUGHT A RACCOON TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL FOR ANIMALS

(ITHACA, NY, July 27, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department reports that a raccoon anonymously left at the doors of Cornell University Hospital for Animals on July 23, 2020 around 12 AM, in the City of Ithaca, was determined to be rabid by the New York State Rabies Laboratory on July 27, 2020. The Health Department is seeking information on the person(s) that may have handled the raccoon prior to it being dropped off at the veterinary hospital to determine whether they were potentially exposed to 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 previous to the exposure, or an older wound showing signs of a bacterial infection. Do not handle pets or objects that may be contaminated with saliva from a potentially rabid animal without wearing protective gloves. Wash your hands immediately with soap and water if you do touch the saliva. Remember that a cut incurred while skinning a rabid mammal could also result in rabies transmission, as nervous tissue of an infected animal will carry the virus.

The Health Department reminds everyone to:

  1. Avoid contact with any unfamiliar cats or dogs and any wild animals. If you are bitten and can safely do so, get contact information from the owner.
  2. All cats, dogs and ferrets must have initial rabies vaccinations administered no later than four

      months of age.  Keep vaccinations current!

  1. 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 cerebro-spinal 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. Watch this video to learn how to safely capture a bat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YhnV5WJQBA.
  1. Always contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator before handling any injured or potentially abandoned wildlife. Rehabilitators can be found here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/sls_searches/index.cfm?p=live_rehab and here: http://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/eh/neighborhood/rabiesfacts.

Follow TCHD on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and on Twitter @TompkinsHealth.

For more information contact: Skip Parr or Cynthia Mosher at 274-6688

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