ASTORIA, QUEENS – Three animals have been found to have rabies in Queens this year, all in the western part of the neighborhood, according to the New York Department of Health.
The rabies cases found in Astoria and Elmhurst include two raccoons and a cat.
They are among 30 cases of rabies detected so far in New York so far this year, the Department of Health said Tuesday when wildlife biologists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture began an effort to vaccinate raccoons against the virus.
From Tuesday, biologists will distribute separate baits with oral rabies vaccines in densely populated areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, and the health department will use a helicopter to spread the vaccine in the wooded and swampy areas of Staten Island and the Gate National Recreation Area. Brooklyn and Queens.
Vaccines will continue to be distributed until October 9, officials said.
The bait is not harmful to humans or pets, but exposure to the liquid can cause a rash, and pets that consume bait may vomit, according to a news release.
The vaccination program was launched by Cornell University in 2014 and takes place every year in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, except 2019.
New Yorkers are urged to keep a safe distance from raccoons and other wildlife and to vaccinate their pets and monitor them when outdoors.
“Rabies is a serious disease that poses a danger to the entire community,” said Richard Simon, director of the New York Parks Wildlife Unit. “This preventative measure will help maintain the health and safety of all New Yorkers, both humans and animals.”