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Rabies Cases Test Positive

Claudia Edwards, Public Health Director for the Broome County Health Department reported today that a skunk, involved in an exposure incident on September 9, 2003 in Northwestern Lisle, tested positive for rabies. The skunk advanced toward a child and bit the child. Fortunately, the skunk was killed and available to be sent for rabies testing. Since January 2003, 102 specimens have been sent for testing and 4 have been positive. A total of 41 residents have received post exposure treatment to date this year.

Ms. Edwards reminds 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 humanely put down or confine it to a cage for six months.

The Front Street Dog Shelter Alliance in conjunction with the Broome County Health Department is holding a series of rabies clinics throughout the fall and winter. Broome County residents who have not had their dogs, cats or domesticated ferrets vaccinated are encouraged to attend one of these clinics:

  • Saturday, September 20, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM, City of Binghamton, Fire Station #3, W. State Street
  • Saturday, October 11, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Vestal, Fire Station #3, Owego Road
  • Wednesday, October 22, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Town of Binghamton, Highway Garage, Hawleyton Road
  • Saturday, December 13, 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon, Fire Station #4 - Robinson 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 5, or visit our web site at www.gobroomecounty.com/hd/.

09/07/2003 - 1:22pm