Rabies in Staten Island Sees 800% Increase in 2013

Staten Island reported 49 cases of rabies in 2013, up from only 6 in 2012. That’s an 800% increase, and the dramatic rise has alarmed officials. Staten Island Assemblyman Joseph Borelli says that the problem should be addressed swiftly as summer begins. “It’s the time of the year when people are most vulnerable to being bitten,” he said.

Borelli says Staten Island officials should adopt the “trap, vaccinate and release” method to deal with the problem. This tactic involves animal control trapping animals, vaccinating them, and returning them to the wild. Borelli says that this method was responsible for Manhattan’s dramatic drop in rabies cases, from 123 in 2010 to just two in 2011. In the meantime, pet owners should keep a close eye on their pets, and contact University Animal Hospital immediately if their pet comes into contact with a wild animal.

Rabies results for 2014 are not compiled until 2015.