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Rabid Cat Found on Halseyville Road

A cat located on Halseyville Road between Mecklenberg and Aiken Roads in the Town of Enfield was determined to be rabid by the NYS Rabies Lab on June 21, 2017.

The cat had short black fur with no distinguishing markings. If you or your pets have had any contact with a cat meeting this description in the Halseyville Road area between Mecklenberg and Aiken Roads since June 1, 2017, please contact the Tompkins County Environmental Health Division immediately at (607) 274-6688. Other feral cats may have had contact with this cat. Any human or pet contact with stray or feral cats should be avoided.

A fox that attacked a person on Coddington Road in the Town of Ithaca was also determined to be rabid by the Rabies Lab on June 20. Full press release.



Mosquito Control and Habitat Reduction

Mosquitoes are considered a nuisance pest, but occasionally they can transmit viruses to people and some animals. To reduce the mosquito population around your home and property, reduce or eliminate all standing water. Also, to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, there are a number of steps you can take. Click here for more about habitat reduction and bite avoidance.

Tick-Borne Diseases — Take Steps To Prevent Them

Spring is here and so are the ticks! It’s time to get outside and enjoy the season. It’s also time to take steps to prevent tick-borne diseases.

New tick-borne diseases have been discovered in recent years with infections steadily increasing, Lyme disease being the most commonly reported. Most tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, can be successfully treated with antibiotics especially if treatment is started early. Preventing tick bites is your best defense against tick-borne diseases.

Do a daily full body tick check. Pay close attention to the back of the knees, behind the ears, scalp, arm pits, groin area and back. Check children and pets too. Remove a tick within 36 hours to decrease the chance of infection. Full press release. Click here for how to remove a tick.

Tompkins County Legislature votes to raise the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, effective July 1.

By a 9–5 vote, the Tompkins County Legislature on May 2 passed a local law that raises the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. All products that are currently age restricted under the NYS Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act (ATUPA) are also in the new local law. This includes all tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and vaping products, and smoking paraphernalia.

The law goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Staff from the Tompkins County Health Department’s Health Promotion Program will provide educational outreach to retailers and the general public leading up to and after the effective date. Full press release. Text of the law (PFD). Click here for more info about T21.

Bolton Point Water Clinches Top Honors in Tompkins County Water Taste Test

Over 100 people voted on the taste of water supplied by seven municipal water treatment plants in Tompkins County, with Bolton Point Water System, receiving the highest number of favored votes. The Tompkins County Health Department held the annual Tompkins County Drinking Water Taste Test on Sunday, April 30th, during Streets Alive! on N. Cayuga Street.

This friendly competition is conducted to recognize the work these water treatment plants do to provide safe, potable drinking water to the residents of Tompkins County. Voters determined that the Bolton Point Water System has the best tasting water in the county, beating six other participating water treatment plants.

Bolton Point Water System will now represent our county in an upcoming regional competition held by the New York State Department of Health. Full press release.

Free Lead Testing Pilot Program:
$1.5 Million State Program to Test Residential Drinking Water

The NYSDOH is launching a pilot program to test for lead in drinking water. The free program is available to residents that are served by either a private well or public water system, allowing everyone to have access to lead testing. The program will continue as long as funds are available.

Residents who are interested having their tap water tested are encouraged to sign up on the NYSDOH website, or by calling the Bureau of Water Supply Protection at 518-402-7650. For more information about this program, read the full press release here. For more information about lead poisoning prevention, click here.

Rise in Sexually Transmitted Infections Seen in 2016

The Tompkins County Health Department reports an increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) locally. In 2016, 374 cases of Chlamydia were reported, a 9% increase from 2015; 81 Gonorrhea cases, a 47% increase from 2015; and 12 Syphilis cases, an alarming 200% increase from 2015.

Syphilis cases in Tompkins County have disproportionately affected males, and have ranged from 19 to 55 years of age. Many Syphilis cases have reported anonymous sexual encounters arranged through internet and mobile hook-up and dating apps, making it difficult or impossible to notify, educate and treat exposed partners.

Confidential, free or low-cost STI education, testing and treatment can easily be accessed at various locations throughout the county. For a complete list and contact information, please visit our website at, or call (607) 276-6604 for more information. Click for the full press release.


Three words that everyone who is sexually active should know, to protect your health and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)!

    1. Talk to your partner before you have sex.
    2. Get Tested!
    3. If you test positive for an STI, Get Treated

Want to learn more about STIs and the Talk-Test-Treat campaign? Click right here, right now!

Zika Virus

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.

for more information.

Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV

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.

Vaccines Save Lives

Flu vaccinations: Everyone, Every Year!

The Health Department recommends a flu shot for everyone, every year. Visit our Seasonal Flu page for more info.

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NOTICEThe Tompkins County Health Department makes every effort to post accurate and reliable information. However, it does not guarantee or warrant that the information on this website is complete, accurate, or up-to-date. Tompkins County shall not be liable under any circumstances for any claims or damages arising directly or indirectly from information presented therein. Please contact the program area by phone or the receptionist at 274-6600 for more information.


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