Friday, January 15, 2010

Raccoon Rabies Scare in Manhattan Parks


Between 2003 and 2008, only 1 rabid animal was found in all of Manhattan. In the past month and a half, city health officials have confirmed 16 rabid raccoons in the borough, according to the West Side Independent. 

The NYC Health Department first raised the alarm about rabies last month after finding four rabid raccoons in Manhattan from the beginning of the year through Dec. 3. But since that release, the virus has continued to spread, mostly in the northern part of Central Park (and many of them on the west side of the park), the health department told the Westside Independent on Tuesday. Rabid raccoons have also been found in Morningside Park. In total, 12 rabid raccoons were found in 2009 (10 in the month of December alone), and four more since the beginning of 2010.

The city is now planning to vaccinate the raccoon populations in Riverside, Central and Morningside Parks to stop the disease from spreading, the health department told us.

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