A raccoon that was killed in a recent fight with a dog in the Delaware County hamlet of Bloomville was found to be infected with rabies, county health officials announced.
The raccoon was sent to the New York State rabies laboratory for testing. County officials received a positive rabies test result on Friday, April 25.
The dog was up to date on its rabies vaccinations, and received a booster shot after the attack. No humans were exposed to rabies in the incident.
The Bloomville raccoon was the second case of rabies in Delaware County in 2014. In March, another rabid raccoon attacked a dog in the village of Stamford, and was captured and killed. The dog was unvaccinated. At the time, county health officials said they were working with the dog's owner to set up a quarantine.
Once fully contracted, rabies is almost 100 percent fatal to all mammals, including humans. Only a tiny handful of people worldwide are known to have recovered from rabies, under a new and highly experimental medical treatment.
During the incubation period of the rabies virus, before symptoms appear, a person who has been bitten by a rabid animal can receive rabies immune globulin and vaccination to prevent the onset of the disease.
For humans who have been bitten by an animal suspected to have rabies, the vaccination protocol -- which was once an invasive and very painful procedure involving many shots in the abdomen -- is now a much less painful process, with a short series of intramuscular shots similar to flu or tetanus vaccinations.
Anyone who has been bitten by an animal, or who has seen a wild animal acting sick or strange, should report it to the local county health department. If an unvaccinated pet comes into contact with an animal suspected of rabies, it will need to be quarantined.
County officials recommend that pets and livestock should be vaccinated against rabies to prevent the spread of the disease. Several upcoming rabies vaccination clinics are scheduled in Delaware County:
- Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Brookside Veterinary Hospital in Arkville
- Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pindars Corners Fire Department
- Friday, May 23, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Roxbury Town Garage
- Friday, June 6, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Masonville Fire Hall
- Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Walton Town Highway Garage
- Friday, June 13, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tompkins Town Highway Garage
- Wednesday, July 9, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Deposit Town Clerk Building
- Monday, July 21, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sidney Fire Hall
- Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Franklin Fire Hall
- Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Delhi Fire Hall