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DOH-Leon Extends Rabies Alert for West Tallahassee

By Christopher Tittel

February 19, 2019

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Leon County has issued an extension to the rabies alert for west Tallahassee that was issued in early November.

The alert areas include territory bordered on the north by I-10, the west and south by Capital Circle SW and the east by Monroe Street. Please be aware that rabies activity can also occur outside the alert area.

The rabies alert will expire April 20, unless additional cases of rabies are reported.

The extension was issued in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies on February 8 and a report of an aggressive raccoon on February 18.

An animal with rabies could infect domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all contact should be avoided with wildlife, 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.

The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Leon County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public. Take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones against rabies:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets and at-risk livestock.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Leon Animal Services at (850) 606-5400.
  • Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash or litter and uneaten pet food.
  • 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 DOH- Leon at (850) 895-8360.

For further information on rabies, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html, or contact DOH-Leon at (850) 895-8360.

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