(The following letter was sent to Dr. David Ackman, Nassau County Commissioner of Health, and is printed here at the writer's request.)
On Sunday, June 19, the New York State Department of Health trapped, tested and vaccinated several raccoons in Sea Cliff. Just prior to that, the
Nassau County Board of Health picked up a sick raccoon on Carpenter Avenue. The week before that event my husband saw a sick raccoon foraging through a neighbor's garbage can. It ran off but it should have been tested for rabies.
What is very disconcerting is that raccoons trapped in the Sea Cliff area are not routinely tested for rabies nor are the dead animals sent to the Wadsworth Testing facility for further testing and the tracking of rabies. This is very surprising since not long ago a rabid raccoon was caught in Brookville. An accurate reporting system is crucial to counter the spread of deadly rabies.
This problem has been especially egregious in Sea Cliff and Glen Cove because there is an abandoned house at 7 Carpenter Avenue, which is overrun with raccoons, some of whom may be rabid and a danger to all the people in the area.
It is essential that Nassau test all caught raccoons for rabies to protect the health of the population of the county and send the dead animals to the Wadsworth Testing facility for further testing and tracking of rabies. Please institute this policy immediately and make the results of those tests available to the general public by informing the local mayors, newspapers, and posting them on the Nassau County Health web site.
Dr. Carol Poll Basse