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Health Officials Issue Rabies Alert

By Crystal Steele

October 05, 2015


October 5, 2015

 

HEALTH OFFICIALS ISSUE RABIES ALERT

Second fox tested positive for rabies

Contact:
Crystal Steele, PG REHP
Crystal.Steele@flhealth.gov
850-892-8021

Walton County – The Florida Department of Health in Walton County issued a rabies alert for the central part of Walton County, specifically the Freeport and Woodlawn areas. This is in response to a second fox that tested positive on Oct. 2, 2015.

All residents and visitors in Walton County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Walton County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not get a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.

The recent rabies alert is for 60 days.  The center of the rabies alert is in two locations in Walton County, and includes the following boundaries in Walton County:

  • Coy Burgess area south of I-10 in Woodlawn
  • Burnham Road area in Freeport

An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies.  All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.  Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans.  The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure, will protect an exposed person from the disease.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Walton County Animal Control at 850-892-8682.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.
  • Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Walton County at 850-892-8021.

For further information on rabies, go to https://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or call the Florida Department of Health in Walton County at 850-892-8021 or Walton County Animal Control at 850-892-8682.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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