Rabies Awareness :: Notice Of Rabies Vaccination Clinics

BINGHAMTON, NY - Summer is a wonderful time of the year when both people and animals in Broome County spend more time outdoors. "Wild animals and stray animals, although intriguing, can be infected with Rabies and should be enjoyed from afar," cautions Diane O'Hora, Director of Health Education at the Broome County Health Department. Rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system in mammals. It can be spread to humans by their unvaccinated pets, if those pets have been exposed to the saliva of an infected animal. It can also be spread directly to humans through contact with infected animals.

Rabies is fatal to animals and, if untreated, can be fatal in humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control 90% of the rabies cases reported each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for the remaining 10% with cats, cattle, and dogs most often being reported as rabid. Although rabies among humans is rare in the United States, an estimated 40,000 people receive post-exposure prophylaxis (medicine) every year. To date in Broome County, 45 animals have been sent for rabies testing. Of those, one raccoon tested positive. However, 19 individuals have received post-exposure treatment because the animal was not captured or was otherwise unavailable for testing.

Adults and children can avoid rabies infection by:

  • Not touching unfamiliar or wild animals.
  • Avoiding direct contact with stray animals that may not have been vaccinated against rabies.
  • Leaving wild animals in the wild where they belong and never bringing them home.
  • Never attempting to rescue or nurse a hurt animal to health. Instead call an animal control person or animal rescue group to help a sick animal.
  • Ensuring your trash is tightly sealed and kept in an area where wild and stray animals cannot get into it.

The best way to keep pets from getting rabies is to make sure they get and stay vaccinated against rabies. The Broome County Health Department in conjunction with the Front Street Dog Shelter Alliance will offer a series of rabies clinics and encourage area residents who have not had their dogs, cats, or domesticated ferrets immunized to attend one of these clinics:

  • Wednesday, July 9, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, Madison Avenue Fire Station, Endicott
  • Saturday, July19, 10:00 AM - Noon, Town of Chenango Fire Station, 1135 Front Street
  • Tuesday, July 22, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Kirkwood, Town Garage, Crescent Drive
  • Saturday, August 9, 10:00 AM - Noon, Prospect Terrace Fire Station
  • Saturday, August 16, 10 AM - 11:00 AM, Lisle, Town Garage

Vaccinations are available at no cost. A $5.00 donation is requested but not required. All animals must be at least three-months-old and under the control of the owner at the clinic. Please bring a Certificate of Immunization for previously immunized animals. For questions about the clinic, please call 607.754.4126.

If you or someone you know is bitten, scratched or has contact with an animal you believe to be rabid, immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention, and report the incident to the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.2887 during business hours. After hours call Broome County Dispatch at 607.778.1911.

The Broome County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health Services is prepared to help anyone who may have been exposed to rabies or who has questions about the disease. In order to accomplish this, all bites or other exposures to animals must, by state law, be reported to the Broome County Health Department. The Broome County Health Department is not responsible for collecting potentially rabid animals. Please call the Division of Environmental Health Services to arrange for specimen testing, 607.778.2887 during business hours or 607.778.1911 after hours.

For more information about the incidence of rabies in Broome County visit the Broome County Government website at www.gobroomecounty.com/hd/.

Please see the attached Rabies Clinic Schedule.