Rabies alert issued in Pasco County

PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – A rabies alert was issued in Pasco County after one person was exposed to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies.

The Florida Department of Health issued the alert Thursday. According to the Health Department press release, all residents and visitors in Holiday Lakes Estate area should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population.

This alert includes following areas:

  • Western boundary Gulf of Mexico
  • Southern boundary Anclote Boulevard/County Line Road
  • Eastern boundary Alternate US 19
  • Northern boundary Gulf Trace Boulevard

All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and the wildlife should be avoided. According to the press release, 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.

You can take the following precautions to protect yourself and your animals:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are bitten by any animal seek care promptly.  Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.  Go to your family doctor or hospital for medical attention immediately.
  • Contact Pasco County Animal Services at (727) 834-3216, (813) 929-1212, or (352) 521-5194 to report animal bites or scratches.
  • Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922 for concerns about wild animals.

 

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