Lead, Lyme Disease, and Rabies

Lead

Lead poisoning is dangerous, especially for children. It can cause problems such as kidney damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, growth problems, and behavioral problems. To assess your family’s risk of lead poisoning and learn what you can do to prevent it, read this Get Ahead of Lead fact sheet.

More information on the effects of lead poisoning on children is available in this guide for parents. Pregnant women can learn how to protect themselves and their babies from lead poisoning.

Greene County Public Health Department provides lead screenings by appointment. Call 518-719-3600 to schedule a lead screening.

Additional information on these risk factors is provided in the Greene County Public Health’s lead poisoning prevention TV ads:


Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. If left untreated, it can cause a number of health problems that affect the skin, nervous system, heart, and joints of the infected individual.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease usually occur between 3 and 30 days after the tick bite. The most common symptom is a red circular “bulls-eye” rash that grows larger.

If you think you have Lyme Disease, or have been bitten by a tick, contact your health care provider immediately. If treatment is necessary, it is important to start as soon as possible.

To safely remove a tick: Grasp the mouth parts with tweezers as close as possible to the attachment (skin) site. Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands. See or call a doctor if there are concerns about incomplete tick removal. Do not attempt to remove ticks by using petroleum jelly, lit cigarettes or other home remedies because these may actually increase the chance of contracting a tick-borne disease.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County is a community partner and educator on Lyme Disease and other environmental concerns. One service they provide is tick identification. If you have been bitten by a tick, remove it safely and bring it to the Cornell Cooperative Extension to identify the species of tick, and whether it is engorged with blood.

For more information:


Rabies

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It can be transmitted from infected mammals to humans and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.

All mammals, including humans, can get rabies. Among wild animals, rabies is most often seen in raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes.

New York State law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets to be currently vaccinated against rabies. Initial vaccination must be done by the time the animal is four months of age, or as soon as the animal is acquired if it is older. After initial vaccination, all animals must be re-vaccinated one year later and then every one, three or four years according to the type of vaccine used.  Click Public Health Law-Rabies for more information on animal vaccination.

Greene County Public Health Department provides rabies vaccinations for pets. Check our calendar for rabies vaccination clinic dates.

Rabies information for New York State pet owners is available here. More information on how to protect against rabies and exposure risks is available in this Rabies Fact Sheet.