Rabies is a fatal neurologic disease that may be transmitted to humans from infected raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes, dogs, cats, and other mammals. Animal bites are the most common method of transmission.
Approximately 230 animal-related skin breaks (both domestic and wild animals) were reported throughout Tompkins County during 2015. Over 90 people received rabies post-exposure treatment due to exposure to a confirmed rabid animal or a presumed rabid animal. A total 207 animals were submitted to the NYS Rabies Testing Laboratory in 2015. Thirteen rabies-positive animals were identified in seven of the county’s nine towns.
New York State Public Health Law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age. Failure to vaccinate may result in the loss of your pet! The Tompkins County Health Department provides FREE rabies clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets. Click here for the full press release. Click here for clinic dates and locations.
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.
Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health. Read our press release.
(April 14, 2016) — The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) and the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) have been investigating lead in the drinking water in the Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools. Elevated levels of lead were detected in the drinking water at both schools in August 2015. The ICSD turned off all consumptive-use fixtures and has been supplying certified bottled water.
The TCHD and the ICSD collected separate sets of samples at Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools in March 2016. All fixtures at both schools were previously tested in February 2016. The March results from Caroline were significantly better than the school-wide test results from February 2016. The results also indicated that flushing the drinking water fixtures for a short period of time might be effective in reducing lead levels in the drinking water.
The Enfield results were not as conclusive, with some results being higher and some lower than previous sampling results.
Additional information is needed to assess the situation at both schools: A plumbing profile needs to be developed. The ICSD has selected a consultant who will assist in this and related activities. » Read Full Press Release
The Tompkins County Health Department recommends that schools that choose to sample water in their buildings for lead, follow the guidance from the EPA. Guidance documents are posted here. It is important to read the first document thoroughly and to adhere to this guidance closely in order to achieve accurate results. We recommend that schools call the Health Department before proceeding with testing.
|Communications | Guidance Documents | Schools FAQ | Lead Poisoning Prevention|
Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found (Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America) and who has not already been infected with Zika virus is at risk for infection.
Zika virus has been in the news recently because of the possible link to microencephaly in infants whose mother was infected by the virus during pregnancy.
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine taken daily that can be used to prevent getting HIV. PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. Many people who can benefit from PrEP aren't taking it. If more health care providers know about and prescribe PrEP, more HIV infections could be prevented. Click here for more information.
The New York State Department of Health announced amended vaccination regulations for children entering or attending school. According to the amended regulations, New York State school children will now be mandated to receive a complete series of all required vaccines – or be in the process of doing so – in order to attend classes. More info »
There has been a local increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including syphilis, gonorrhea and Chlamydia from January to July 2015. STI cases in both females and males have ranged in age from 18 to 55 years. Many cases have reported anonymous sexual encounters arranged through internet hook-ups and dating phone apps. As a result of the anonymous encounter, they may not be able to notify sex partners of exposure. More info»
The Health Department recommends a flu shot for everyone, every year. Visit our Seasonal Flu page for more info.