Saturday, March 30, 2019

Be Alert For Rabid Wildlife in Eastern Essex County

DEC logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has advised the public to be alert for wildlife exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior toward people and pets. Reports of wildlife behaving in this manner have resulted in positive rabies tests in the towns of Moriah, Crown Point, and Ticonderoga in Eastern Essex County.

Wild animals infected with rabies may act tame, sick, or unusually aggressive. These animals may also exhibit symptoms such as staggering, convulsions, choking, and frothing at the mouth, or make unusual sounds. DEC advises the public not to approach animals that appear tame, aggressive, or sick, and to report these animals immediately to DEC Region 5 Dispatch at (518) 891-0235.

DEC advises anyone that has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal or a domestic animal with unknown rabies vaccination status to wash all wounds with soap and water, seek immediate medical attention; and report the incident to the Essex County Health Department: (518) 873-3500 (business hours), (888) 270-7249 (after hours).

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), which almost always leads to death unless treatment is provided soon after exposure. Rabies affects mammals, including domestic pets, livestock, and humans, but is primarily found in wild animals.

Rabies is common in New York, but because it is transmitted to other animals by direct contact via a bite or scratch, the incidence tends to increase and decrease with the rise and fall of primary host populations. Among domestic animals, cats are most frequently diagnosed with rabies, and among wild animals in the currently affected areas, raccoons are most affected.

To protect yourself and your pets, never touch or handle wildlife and be sure that your pets – dogs, cats and ferrets, as well as horses and valuable livestock animals – are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

For more information on rabies and how to protect yourself and your pets against the disease, view the New York State Department of Health fact sheet on rabies.

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5 Responses

  1. Tim-Brunswick says:

    Not surprising at all and was very predictable, particularly with Raccoons. In particular the populations of raccoon, beaver, coyote, fox, bobcat and many other species that are periodically harvested by hunting/trapping will continue to spiral upwards due to a drop over the past few years in numbers of hunters and trappers.

    Over the last 20 years, both activities have taken a drop in participation by younger people who seem more interested in their I-pods/cell phones, etc, etc. Society in general seems to have lost contact with this country’s past and too often frowns upon folks who harvest food/clothing from Nature’s bounty. However, and in contrast to the ant-harvesting of wild animals society is perfectly comfortable hiring the butcher to provide their steaks and it’s “chic” to wear leather and carry a “Michael Kors” or “Coach” purse.

    While many misinformed folks don’t care for either sport/activity, both hunting and trapping will be, for many years, the only “viable” control on animal populations.

    There is no question that when populations increase beyond the “carrying capacity” Mother Nature steps in and effectively reduces and often decimates populations through diseases such as Rabies, distemper, mange, tularemia and the list goes on. Death is usually the outcome, but the path to death is slow and very painful.

    Something to think about.

    Thank you

    • Ryan Finnigan says:

      I would be interested in reading any credible scientific research you can link to that shows a direct link to a supposed increase in the prevelance of rabies, etc. To lower numbers of young hunters and trappers. Thanks in advance.

  2. Boreas says:

    Does NYS regularly drop raccoon vaccine packets in Essex or other counties? If so, is it just during outbreaks or on a routine basis?

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