The Putnam County Department of Health is made of several divisions all working towards improving and protecting the health of the community. Click on one of the options below to learn more about that division.
Last week a local specimen sent for rabies testing to the state lab in Albany by the Putnam County Department of Health turned in the first positive test result of the year. Most potential rabies exposures occur in the warm weather when people are spending more time outdoors and bats have returned to the area. The first lab-confirmed positive is a reminder that rabies is a year-round concern. This recent specimen, collected from a woodchuck which had encountered a pet dog, is a good reminder of this ongoing and deadly virus. Fortunately, the dog had been vaccinated against the rabies virus and it was not necessary to confine the pet. Instead, all the dog needed was a rabies booster shot.
The Putnam County Department of Health offers three free rabies pet vaccination clinics a year. The next is scheduled for November 18 from 10am to 12pm, at Veteran’s Memorial Park, in Carmel. The other two clinics occur in March and July. More information and a video on how to safely capture a bat can be found at www.putnamcountyny.com/health/rabies.
Rabies is a deadly virus that left untreated in pets and people is nearly 100 percent fatal. The health department wants to remind the public to promptly report any animal bite, or contact with a wild animal, to their office at 845-808-1390. After hours or on weekends, potential exposures should be reported to the department’s environmental hotline, accessed through voice mail by pressing extension number 3. A health department representative will return the call promptly.