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Rabid raccoons are back in Manhattan. Vaccine your pets, say health officials

Four raccoons with rabies have been found since the beginning of the year in the upper part of Manhattan, the first to be seen on the island since 2011, the city health department said Friday. Officials use the discoveries to remind the city residents to vaccinate their pets against the deadly disease. "The city has done a great job of keeping our wildlife free from rabies, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas," said Prime Minister Robert Jackson in a press release. "I urge my pet components to make sure their animals are up to date on their vaccines. Pay attention when you enjoy our beautiful parks, and if you see a beast that seems strange, leave the area and call" 31 1 hotline for non-emergency services, he said. All animals that appear to be ill, disoriented, or unusually silent or aggressive should be reported, city officials said. Infected animals can spread rabies to humans and unvaccinated animals by one bit. No pets or humans are believed to have been bitten by these raccoons, the health department said. Rabies has been rare in Manhattan Island since an outbreak from 2009 to 2011, when 138 ravenous raccoons were reported in and around Central Park. The outbreak was drawn after health department managers had captured nearly 500 raccoons around the park, vaccinated and released them. This year's four rabies cases were found in and over Upper Manhattan's Inwood Hill Park. The Health Department "reminds New Yorkers to stay away from raccoons and…

Four raccoons with rabies have been found since the beginning of the year in the upper part of Manhattan, the first to be seen on the island since 2011, the city health department said Friday.

Officials use the discoveries to remind the city residents to vaccinate their pets against the deadly disease.

“The city has done a great job of keeping our wildlife free from rabies, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas,” said Prime Minister Robert Jackson in a press release.

“I urge my pet components to make sure their animals are up to date on their vaccines. Pay attention when you enjoy our beautiful parks, and if you see a beast that seems strange, leave the area and call” 31

1 hotline for non-emergency services, he said.

All animals that appear to be ill, disoriented, or unusually silent or aggressive should be reported, city officials said.

Infected animals can spread rabies to humans and unvaccinated animals by one bit. No pets or humans are believed to have been bitten by these raccoons, the health department said.

Rabies has been rare in Manhattan Island since an outbreak from 2009 to 2011, when 138 ravenous raccoons were reported in and around Central Park. The outbreak was drawn after health department managers had captured nearly 500 raccoons around the park, vaccinated and released them.

This year’s four rabies cases were found in and over Upper Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park. The Health Department “reminds New Yorkers to stay away from raccoons and other wild animals that can carry rabies,” read the department’s press release.

From 2012 to 2018, only five rabies cases – all involving bats – were reported on the island.

Rabies has recently become more common in neighboring areas, including the Bronx, where nine animal rabies cases were reported last year.

Nationally, 5,508 cases of rabies in animals and three human rabies cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015, the last year for which national data was available.


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