A raccoon that was found wandering down Stuyvesant Avenue in Larchmont a week ago was confirmed today to have been sick with rabies, said Caren Halbfinger, a spokesperson for the Westchester County Department of Health.
The raccoon was captured on September 2 in Larchmont and submitted to the county for rabies testing, she said.
The Health Department notified residents within a ¼ mile radius of Stuveysant Avenue today by telephone of their findings.
According to the Health Department’s website, rabies can be spread to humans through bites, scratches or contact with an infected animal’s saliva. Although rabies is usually carried by wild animals like raccoons, foxes, bats and skunks, stray cats and dogs living outdoors may contract and transmit the virus as well.
Here are some tips for rabies prevention from the Department’s website:
- Avoiding contact with wildlife and stray animals.
- Bat-proofing your residence.
- Vaccinating your pets.
- Keeping your dog on a leash.
- Keeping your cat inside.
- Not providing food or harborage for wildlife.
As of now, there have been no reported cases of people contracting rabies from the raccoon, however, Halbfinger urges anyone who may have had contact with a raccoon or other wild animal to contact the Health Department at (914) 813-5000 immediately to asses the need for post-rabies treatment.
If you see a wild animal acting strangely or suspect that it may be rabid, contact the Larchmont Police Department at (914) 834-1000.