The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

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August 29, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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When bats are in the house

By DIANE LEWIS
PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK STATE DEC

Small-footed bat.

 

August is the time Westchester residents are most likely to come into contact with bats. While most bats don’t have rabies, most cases of human rabies are from contact with rabid bats, and you can’t tell if a bat has rabies by looking at it. If you come into contact with a bat, you need to capture the bat for testing if possible. If the bat is not caught, you should get immunized.

Dr. Sheila Nolan, chief of pediatric infectious disease at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, said there are one to two cases of human rabies in the United States each year, and the diagnosis is entertained a couple of times each year at her hospital. While the threat is small, it is serious. Most residents of Westchester County are aware of the hospital’s reputation as a leading tertiary care children’s center, but many are unaware that it was founded by a family who lost a child to rabies presumed to be contracted after inadvertent contact with a bat.

In some areas of the world, one child dies of rabies every 10 minutes according to the World Health Organization, because the disease is underreported and misdiagnosed. Mandatory vaccination of pets; education; screening; and protective vaccinations have made a huge impact in this country.

According to the Center for Disease Control, tens of thousands of people in the United States are vaccinated every year to protect them from getting rabies.

Caren Halbfinger, spokesperson for the Westchester County Health Department, said if a bat is inside it should be trapped for testing. She said a wildlife control professional can do this, or people can learn how to trap a bat on their own without coming into contact with it from a video on the county health department website.

According to Dr. Nolan, most rabies vaccines are given as a precaution to children too young to give a good history or when bats were in a room where people were asleep and may have been bitten without knowing it. Despite lingering fear that the shots are particularly painful and need to be given in the belly, she said this is no longer the case. Getting the vaccine is similar to getting a flu shot. Shots can be safely postponed until testing on a captured bat is complete, which takes about three days. A series of four shots is required.

The Maria Fareri hospital was founded by Brenda and John Fareri in memory of their daughter Maria, who died in 1995 at age 13 after developing rabies. Ms. Fareri said Maria was not aware of being bitten, which is common because a bite from a bat is as small as a comma on a typewritten page. She developed pain and swelling in her shoulder and then developed progressive nonspecific neurological symptoms. The diagnosis was made because she displayed water aversion, a unique characteristic of the disease. Despite therapy, Maria had a rapidly downhill course, dying nine days after entering the hospital. Her family and friends were treated with rabies shots.

Maria’s teacher told her parents that during a recent project each student was asked if they were granted one wish what would it be. Maria had wished for the health and well-being of all the children in the world. With that in mind her parents founded the Maria Fareri Children’s Center in her memory. The movie “Louder than Words,” starring David Duchovny, chronicles this story. Ms. Fareri said that most bats are healthy and actually help us by eating insects. But while bats that are out during the day or behave aggressively are likely to be rabid, most often the bat is not obviously infected. She urges people to follow recommendations for testing and vaccination.

Dr. Nolan said the incubation period for rabies is variable, but 25 percent of people display symptoms within 30 days, the vast majority within 90 days, and a smattering of others up to a year. Bites to the head and neck progress faster than do those to the arms or legs because the virus travels to the brain in the nerves. While the series of shots should be undertaken immediately if there is any possibility of exposure, if someone learns about the risk several weeks after exposure they should still get vaccinated. Once symptoms have developed it is usually too late. Antiviral therapies are not thought to be effective, but there are three case reports of patients with symptoms who were put into induced comas and treated with an antiviral who survived. Maria Fareri Hospital gave out 65 rabies shots in the past year. Some patients who got their initial shot at the hospital had their follow-up doses with their private doctors or at other emergency rooms.

Ms. Halbfinger said it is also important to make certain all pets are up to date on rabies vaccines. Vaccinated pets that are exposed are given booster shots. If they are not vaccinated, pets exposed to an untested animal or one that tests positive are either quarantined for six months or put down. She said 97 percent of bats tested are not rabid so it is very important to catch the bat. People in high-risk occupations such as wildlife control usually get protective vaccinations.


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