BY MICHAEL RICONDA
WEST NYACK – Only a month after a skunk tested positive for rabies in West Nyack, another two animals were found to have been infected in the same area.
Two raccoons were discovered to have rabies in the area around Van Houten Fields in West Nyack. The incident is the third such case this year for not only the county, but in this specific area as well.
At the same time, the proximity of the cases does not yet appear to be a cause for significant concern.
“We’re a rabies county,” Rick Price, who handles rabies tests for the county, said. “It happens.”
Price explained that out of nine animals tested this year, three came back positive. In contrast, last year eighty animals were tested and five turned up positive results.
The Department of Health has advised residents to supervise them while they are outside and not leave them out overnight. Residents are also strongly advised not to touch or feed wild animals, as rabies can be transferred into food bowls through saliva.
Pets should also be vaccinated against rabies. The Health Department is also sponsoring free rabies shots for cats, dogs and ferrets at the Rockland County Fire Training Center at 35 Firemen’s Memorial Drive in Pomona on Sunday, April 26 from 10 a.m. To 1 p.m.
In addition, standing food sources such as garbage bins and bird-feeders should be securely locked and small entrances to the house through attics, porches, basements or garages should be sealed off to prevent foraging animals which might carry the infection.
If a pet or human has been bitten, the Health Department can be contacted at (845) 364-2585. Trapped animals or animals which appear suspicious or aggressive can be handled by calling Clarkstown Animal Control at (845) 639-5800.