Health officials are urging New Yorkers to be careful after four confirmed cases of raccoons with rabies inside or near a Manhattan park over the past seven weeks — including three in the span of eight days.

The New York City health department said Friday it found raccoons that tested positive for rabies inside or around Inwood Hill Park on:

  • January 25 at Seaman Avenue and West 204th Street
  • February 25 at Isham Street and Seaman Avenue
  • February 28 at West 214th Street and Indian Road
  • March 4 at West 218th Street and Indian Road

Only two other raccoons have been found with rabies — at East 134th Street and St. Ann's Place in the Bronx on February 27, and at Forest Green and Arden Avenue on Staten Island on February 22 — in the city so far this year.

The health department said there is no confirmation any of the raccoons bit or exposed rabies to anyone, and notes rabies is rare in the animal.


Health officials warn people to:

  • Stay away from wild animals that may carry the disease.
  • Call 311 if they notice an animal that is disoriented or acting aggressively.
  • Get their pets vaccinated as a precaution.
  • Keep garbage in sealed containers.
  • Do not attempt to separate fighting animals.

If an animal bites you, immediately wash the wound with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes, and find out if you need a vaccination.

This is the first time rabid raccoons have been identified in Manhattan since 2011, when the city trapped and vaccinated hundreds near Central Park.