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Health Department issues alert after rabid fox ‘bite incident’ in Gadsden County

Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 18:06:44-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Department of Health in Gadsden County issued a rabies alert for the western geographical region of Gadsden County in response to a fox that tested positive for rabies, following a bite incident that was reported on September 9, 2020.

The center of the rabies alert includes the following area boundaries in Gadsden County: • North and South of CR270 / Sycamore Road between Old Church Road and West Street.

The rabies alert will remain active for 60 days.

Rabies is usually fatal to warm-blooded animals and to humans.

The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started quickly after exposure, will protect an exposed person from the disease.

FDOH-Leon says residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions to protect themselves:

  • 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.
  • If you see a wild animal that appears to be in distress, contact Leon County Animal Control at (850) 606-5400.
  • 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 County Animal Control.
  • 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.
  • 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 Environmental Health Division at (850) 895-8360.

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