Disease Prevention and Education

BCHD Services

One of the most important jobs of any health department is to investigate diseases and outbreaks. Doctors, hospitals, and laboratories are required by law to report certain diseases to New York State Department of Health, which in turn reports to Broome County Health Department. These diseases include COVID-19, meningitis, measles, whooping cough, and many more.

If you get a call from our communicable disease staff, they will ask you questions to try to find out where the disease came from and who else might have been exposed, recommend ways to prevent further spread, and discuss treatment if needed. All information you share is kept confidential and is used to protect other people from getting a contagious disease.

Our communicable disease staff work closely with local hospitals and healthcare providers. If you are a health professional or community member with a communicable disease question or concern, call us at 607-778-2839.

Insect-borne diseases are mostly spread by ticks in Broome County, but mosquitoes can, too. Broome County Health Department educates the community on how to prevent insect-borne diseases. We also provide free resources to community members, such as tick removal kits. If you want to learn more or get a tick removal kit, call us at 607-778-2847. To learn more about a specific disease, check out the links below.

Diseases Spread by Ticks

Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes


Broome County Health Department works to prevent exposure to rabies and unnecessary rabies treatment. If you or anyone you know has been bitten, scratched or has been in contact with an animal, immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention, and report the incident to Broome County Health Department at 607-778-2847. 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.

Who We Are:
Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga (TFBT) is a program serving Broome and Tioga Counties and is funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Health as part of the NYS Tobacco Control Program. 


What We Do:
TFBT provides information and technical assistance to help municipalities, businesses, organizations, and multi-unit housing properties implement evidence-based strategies to achieve the following goals:

•    Prevent youth from using any tobacco or e-cigarette product.
•    Prevent our community members from breathing in second-hand smoke from all tobacco and e-cigarette products.
•    Make changes within the community to support tobacco-free and smoke-free choices.

Community Engagement Coordinator
Grace Merrill

Reality Check Youth Engagement Coordinator
Nikole Hurlbert

Disease Prevention Education FAQ

There are many ways to protect yourself from exposure to insect-borne diseases. Visit the CDC’s website to learn what you can do.

Learn how to properly remove a tick from New York State Department of Health. Contact Broome County Health Department at 607-778-2487 for a free tick removal kit!

Broome County Health Department does not provide direct shipment of ticks for testing. While it may be interesting and helpful to know about a tick that was removed from a person, it is important that medical treatment is not delayed pending tick testing. The following organizations offer tick identification services:

Broome County Health Department does not test or dispose of dead/ill bird.  To dispose of a bird, wear gloves and/or use a shovel to bury or place the bird in the garbage.

If you were bitten or scratched by a wild animal…

  1. Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and running water.
  2. Get medical attention. Go to your family doctor or the nearest emergency room.
  3. Call the Broome County Health Department for instructions and to notify if the wild animal is available for testing. During normal business hours, call us at 607-778-2847. Outside of normal business hours, call Broome County Emergency Dispatch at 607-778-1911.
  5. If necessary, a dead animal (such as a bat) may be kept on ice, double bagged in plastic, until it can be tested by the Broome County Health Department. Always wear gloves, use a shovel and clean the area and tools with one part bleach to ten parts water. Keep the dead animal in a protected area away from people and other animals.

If you were bitten or scratched by a pet dog or cat…

  1. Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and running water.
  2. Obtain the pet’s owners name, address, and telephone number. Find out if the animal has a current rabies vaccination and write down the rabies tag number.
  3. Get medical attention. Go to your family doctor or the nearest emergency room.
  4. Contact the Broome County Health Department. During normal business hours, call us at 607-778-2847. Outside of normal business hours, call Broome County Emergency Dispatch at 607-778-1911.

Have this Information ready:

  • Type and description of animal including any features or marks;
  • If it was a pet, whether it wore a collar, tags and where it lives;
  • How the bite occurred;
  • Whether the animal has been seen in the area before and what direction it was traveling.

Wear gloves to handle your pet and isolate it from other animals and people for several hours. Call your veterinarian about a rabies booster ASAP. Contact BCHD during normal business hours at 607-778-2847 or Broome County Emergency Dispatch outside normal business hours at 607-778-1911.

TFBT can present education, answer questions, and provide technical assistance if you are interested in adopting a tobacco-free policy. We can also provide free signage for your property upon policy implementation. 


The NYS Smokers Quitline can provide text, chat or call counseling, free nicotine replacement therapy (gum or lozenges) and other tools to help you quit. 


Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network offers a free cessation program available to anyone in the community who is regularly around children who is looking to quit their nicotine addiction. This program involves receiving materials in the mail and a weekly phone counseling session. For more information, please call 607-772-0517.


Reality Check is a youth-led, adult-supported program in New York State that empowers youth to become leaders in their communities, exposing the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. Youth advocates work alongside their adult counterparts in our community to educate decision-makers on the harmful effects of tobacco products.


For decades, the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed menthol-flavored products to specific communities, leading to disproportionate rates of death and disease in these groups. For more information, check out the “It’s Not Just” campaign below: