HICKSVILLE, N.Y. — A raccoon trapped on Long Island is the first confirmed case of rabies in Nassau County since 2007.
The raccoon was collected earlier this week by a Nassau County Animal Control wildlife trapper in Hicksville, Long Island and was sent to the New York State Health Department for testing.
A Nassau County, Long Island health spokesperson told authorities they were surprised by the finding and will step up monitoring and testing in the Nassau County, Long Island area. Nassau County and New York State health officials are discussing what additional steps to take in response to the finding.
Rabies is transmitted by the bite of a rabid raccoon or when the saliva of a rabid animal comes into contact with cut, open, or scratched skin lesions, officials said.
Wildlife Control Experts are urging Nassau County residents to take the following precautions:
• Keep dogs on a leash and keep pets confined in the evenings.
• Verify that your pets have current rabies vaccination.
• Do not touch or have contact with any animal other than your own.
• Do not touch dying or dead animals. If you must move them, use a shovel, wear heavy rubber gloves and double bag the carcass.
• Advise your family against approaching any unknown animal — wild or domestic — especially those acting in an unusual way.
• Instruct your children to tell you immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.
• Notify the Health Department if a bat is found in a room where adults or children were sleeping, or if an adult enters a room and finds a bat with a child.
• Do not feed unknown animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
• Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
Long Island residents that see a dead raccoon or come across suspicious wildlife on their own property, are asked to contact a Nassau County Animal Control Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator to have the animal safely removed from their premises.