Florida Department of Health Issues Rabies Alert for Suwannee County

Posted at 1:54 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 13:54:00-04

SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - Florida officials are warning that rabies is active in the Suwannee County wild animal population.

The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office posted an alert to their Facebook on Monday, saying that the Florida Department of Heath in Suwannee County has issued a rabies alert for an area near O'Brien.

The area encompasses 208th Street to the North, CR 349 to the South, US 129 to the East, and the Suwannee River to the West.

They said that the alert was made in response to two different incidents of a fox and a dog showing rabies-like symptoms. Both animals were euthanized. 

All residents and visitors in Suwannee County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.

SCSO has asked that the public stay aware that rabies is active in Suwannee County. The recent rabies alert is in affect for 60 days.

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. 

Florida officials recommend the following tips to residents and visitors: 

  • 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 the local animal control agency.
  • 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 Suwannee County at 386-
  • 362-2708.

For more information on rabies, click here