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Rabies Alert 12-19-2014

By Paul Butler

December 19, 2014

The Florida Department of Health in Lake County Issues a Rabies Alert for the Pine Lakes Area of Lake County and Reminds Residents of the Importance of Animal Vaccinations 

Friday, December 19, 2014
Media contact:  Paul Butler, Public Information Officer
Office: (352) 589-6424  After Hours Call in Number: (352) 728-7662
E-mail: paul.butler@flhealth.gov
 
Tavares – Aaron Kissler, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Lake County has issued a Rabies Alert for the Pine Lakes Area of Lake County.  This is in response to a kitten which tested positive for rabies on Thursday, December 18, 2014.
 
All residents and visitors in Lake 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 Lake County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give 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 in the Pine Lakes Area and includes the following area boundaries in Lake County: 
  • North boundary- St. Johns River
  • South boundary- Royal Trails Road
  • East boundary- St. Johns River
  • West boundary- Royal Trails Road
 An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals 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.
 
  • The following advice is issued:

    • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets. 
    • Vaccinations must be conducted by a licensed Veterinarian.
    • 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 Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9688.
    • 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.
    For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website:  http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html, or contact the Florida Department of Health in Lake County at 352-253-6130 or Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9688.