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Health Officials Issue Rabies Alert for Portions of Dixie County

December 12, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in Dixie County issued a rabies alert for portions of Dixie County. This is in response to a unvaccinated pet dog that tested positive for rabies on 12/10/2018.

All residents and visitors in Dixie 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 Dixie 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 near NE 596th Street in Old Town, and includes the following boundaries in Dixie County:

• Highway 351 to the north and west
• Highway 349 to the east
• NE 582nd street to the south

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 animal control at 352-498-1231.
• 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 Dixie County at 352-498-1360.

For further information on rabies, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or call the Florida Department of Health in Dixie County at 352-498-1360, or Dixie County Animal Control at 352-498-1231.

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

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Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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