NY Daily News - The city Health Department has issued a rabies warning in Brooklyn after a dead raccoon tested positive for the infectious disease.
Animal Care and Control found the raccoon Aug. 15 on the 7800 block of 16th Ave. in Bensonhurst, a highly residential area just a few blocks from New Utrecth High School. The positive rabies test came back from the lab on Tuesday. It’s the third rabid raccoon found in Brooklyn this year.
The raccoon died after attacking some feral cats and might have infected those animals with the disease, officials said Wednesday.
In its alert, the Health Department advises residents to stay away from all wild animals — including stray cats — especially if they "look sick or act strangely." It also says that anyone bitten by a stray animal should immediately wash the wound, then call a doctor.
“It’s very concerning,” said City Councilman Mark Treyger, who reps the area. “We have to get the word out. We’re not at the point where we are asking people to stay in their houses, but if they see anything suspicious, they should report it.”
Neighborhood residents were alarmed Tuesday night.
"Oh my God, that's too close for comfort,” said Connie Wang, 41. “I have two kids, I'm going to worry about them playing outside.”
Vincent Pepe, 42, said he was worried about his kids and his Maltese, Oliver. "There's a lot of raccoons around here, tons of them. You have a lot of little kids around here and they don't know any better, what if they try and pet one? I saw one just the other day. It was huge, it stood up on its hind legs and was shaking a garbage pail,” he added.
Rabies is a highly infectious disease most frequently caused by animal bites. It infects the central nervous system, and if left untreated is fatal. Its most classic symptom is hypersalivation — foaming at the mouth — but that’s usually found in advanced cases. Early signs are fever, headache and fatigue.
New York City typically has several rabies cases a year in wild animals, but hasn’t had a human case in more than 50 years.
Look at rabies, comin in hot trying to stay relevant in today's virus game. Oh, ya'll are worried about a litte ebola taking out the whole planet? Well don't look now but here comes your old pal rabies, bitches, act like you ain't know me*.
Rabies is like the Daniel Day Lewis of viruses. You don't hear about it for a while, you start thinking maybe the new generation of hot young viruses are starting to take it's place, then bam, it goes and makes Lincoln... or, I mean kills three raccoons in Brooklyn... and reminds you who the top virus is. Good stuff, rabies, good stuff.
* That's how rabies talks. Rabies is gangster as fuck.
P.S. Absolutely LOVED this Vincent Pepe guy in this story. You can tell this dude has been tryin to tell people about these damn raccoons for as long as anyone can remember. Giant ones, standing up on their hind legs shaking garbage cans, terrorizing children, wreaking havoc left and right and Vince is the only one who's seen it all along. So don't come crying to him when you're all full of rabies cus he warned ya. Ya'll just wouldn't listen to crazy old man Pepe, would ya? No. Now look at your rabid ass. Sucker.