By MARK WOODSON
With a recent report of the capture of a rabid raccoon in Nassau County and out of an abundance of caution, Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken announced today that he has ordered increased surveillance of raccoons in the Towns of Babylon and Huntington, which border Nassau County.
“Suffolk County has an ongoing countywide rabies surveillance program that we will be enhancing in in those western towns in light of this new information,” said Dr. Tomarken. “We ask the public’s assistance.”
Residents of all towns are asked to report raccoons that come into contact with humans or pets to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. Residents of the Towns of Huntington and Babylon are asked to report abnormally acting raccoons and dead raccoons. In towns other than Huntington and Babylon, dead raccoons should be discarded in the garbage in a safe manner and with no direct physical contact with people or pets.
Residents are asked to report sightings to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services by calling 631-852-5900, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After hours, call 631-852-4820.
New York State and Suffolk County law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating your pet not only provides protection for the animal, but vaccinated pets act as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people. It is very important to make sure that these animals, as well as livestock and horses have current rabies vaccinations.
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