Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

Suffolk County to Increase Rabies Monitoring

With a recent report of the capture of a rabid raccoon in Nassau County and out of an abundance of caution, Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken announced today that he has ordered increased surveillance of raccoons in the Towns of Babylon and Huntington, which border Nassau County.

“Suffolk County has an ongoing countywide rabies surveillance program that we will be enhancing in in those western towns in light of this new information,” said Dr. Tomarken. “We ask the public’s assistance.”

Reporting Guidelines:
  • Residents of all towns are asked to report raccoons that come into contact with humans or pets to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
  • Residents of the Towns of Huntington and Babylon are asked to report abnormally acting raccoons and dead raccoons.
  • In towns other than Huntington and Babylon, dead raccoons should be discarded in the garbage in a safe manner and with no direct physical contact with people or pets.

Residents are asked to report sightings to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services by calling 631-852-5900, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After hours, call 631-852-4820.

Rabies Protection:
New York State and Suffolk County law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating your pet not only provides protection for the animal, but vaccinated pets act as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people. It is very important to make sure that these animals, as well as livestock and horses have current rabies vaccinations. To further protect yourself from possible exposure to rabies:

  • Keep dogs, cats and ferrets on a leash and keep livestock confined in the evening.
  • Do not have contact with any animal other than your own.
  • Do not feed wildlife or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
  • Do not touch dead or dying animals. Use a shovel, wear rubber gloves and double bag the
  • carcass, if you need to move them.
  • Do not approach an unknown animal, either wild or domestic, especially if it is acting in an unusual way.
  • Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
  • Children should be advised to tell an adult immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.
  • To prevent the possible spread of the rabies virus, no one, including trappers and nuisance wildlife rehabilitators, should transport and relocate any wild animals at this time.

For more information on rabies, visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/rabies/rabies.htm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/.