What to Know
- Raccoon that was captured over the weekend in upstate NY after it attacked three people has been confirmed to be rabid, health officials say
- The attacks took place in Port Chester in Westchester County Sunday, according to officials
- All three people who were bitten are receiving preventive rabies treatment
A raccoon that was captured over the weekend in upstate New York after it attacked three people has been confirmed to be rabid, health officials say.
The attacks took place in Port Chester in Westchester County Sunday, according to officials.
The Westchester County Department of Health said the first attack victim was a woman who was at the corner of Halstead and Madison avenues shortly after 2:30 p.m.
The raccoon then bit a man nearby on Halstead Avenue, before attacked another man in a nearby backyard on Willett Avenue, officials say, adding that it was that man’s father who killed the raccoon with a shovel and contacted Port Chester Police Department, who secured the raccoon for rabies testing.
All three people who were bitten are receiving preventive rabies treatment.
“Stay alert and closely supervise children and pets when outside. If you see an animal that is acting aggressively, stay away from it and contact local police immediately,” Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said in a statement.
Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal, according to officials. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become excited and irritable, or, conversely appear particularly passive and lethargic.
Additionally, staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.
Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should avoid contact with the animal and alert local authorities to avoid possible exposure to rabies, health officials say.
Residents are also advised to keep their trash can lids securely sealed and avoid leaving pet food outdoors.
Keeping pet rabies vaccinations up to date is also important for protection against rabies. New York State law requires dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies and receive regular booster shots.