Dependable Erection

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More about rabies

From my old hometown:

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services reported that terrestrial animal rabies has been confirmed in a raccoon found in Huntington, Suffolk County. The raccoon was found dead on Dewey St. on January 8, 2009. The Suffolk County Department of Health Services submitted the specimen to the New York State Department of Health Rabies Laboratory, where the rabies virus was confirmed. There was no known human contact with the raccoon.

This is Suffolk County's nineteenth case of terrestrial animal rabies since March of 2006 when the first case was found. All cases have been from the Huntington/Lloyd Harbor area.

. . .

Suffolk County has been actively distributing oral rabies vaccine to wildlife since September 2006. This has been complemented by similar efforts in Nassau County. The goal of this program is to vaccinate terrestrial wildlife against rabies in order to prevent further spread on Long Island.

In this map of Long Island, Suffolk County essentially extends from "Melville" on the west all the way to Montauk and Orient Points on the east.

And this closeup shows the area where all of the rabies cases have been found.

Suffolk's got about 6 times the population of Durham County, but only about double the population density. Huntington Township, the area where all of Suffolk's rabies incidents have occurred, has a population nearly that of Durham's (just under 200000 in 2000) in about 1/8 the area. Compare Huntington to the City of Durham, however, and things are much more alike, with both municipalities covering an area a little under 100 square miles, and densities around 200 people per square mile.

19 rabies cases in 3 years averages a little over one every two months. In Durham, we've had 4 in about 6 months.

Do we even have a response from the County Health Department, or is all of this being placed on our already overworked Animal Control Department to manage?

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  • Not to sound like a Republican/Libertarian, but Mr. E, part of the difference between Suffolk County, Long Island, NY and Durham, North Carolina is our tax rate for municipal and county services.

    I would hazard a guess that the rate is significantly higher on Long Island.

    When you pay higher taxes, I guess it is possible you will have a lower rate of rabies?

    By Blogger Tony, at 1:13 PM  

  • Assuming that the rates of discovery are approximately equal, then Durham and Suffolk have more or less the same incidence of rabies in the wildlife population.

    differences are that Durham has a far lower rate of animal registration, that i can tell, and has no proactive program in place to prevent the spread of rabies in the county.

    Our low taxes, of course, are one of the reasons we consistently make top 10 places to live lists.

    A few more interactions with rabid animals, and a few pets having to be put down after encounters with rabid animals, may change people's perceptions a little.

    Just sayin'.

    By Blogger Barry, at 2:23 PM  

  • No argument.

    The thing I love about centrist Democrats is that they usually want to pursue the "let's educate the public on how to deal with this" before levying some sort of regressive/punitive tax.

    Obama does this all the time and gets no credit for it, of course, from those butt-head Republicans.

    But don't you think think that higher taxes usually mean an Animal Control staff that's better funded, better equipped and better trained? If I'm off-base on that, let me know. That was the gist of my point.

    By Blogger Tony, at 10:03 PM  

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