Pasco Lifts Rabies Alert
The alert went into effect in early October after a raccoon was found with the disease.
PASCO COUNTY – The rabies alert issued Oct. 4 in the southwest geographical region of Pasco County has been lifted.
The alert was issued in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies Oct. 3.
Although guidelines indicate the removal of the alert at this time, Pasco County Health Officer Mike Napier said, “Rabies prevention must be a community effort, with each of us doing our part in protecting humans and our pets.”
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County works closely with animal control to investigate animal bites that are reported locally. Domestic animal bites are often resolved with verification of rabies vaccination and the completion of a 10-day observation of the bite animal’s health. Animal bites involving stray or wild animals will be further investigated. Information
regarding the bite itself and the bite animal, whether it can be found or not, may result in vaccination of anyone exposed to the animal.
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.
* 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 by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
* 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 and for information on stray dogs and cats.
* Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (863) 648-3200 for concerns about wild animals.
For information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website or contact Florida Department of Health Pasco County, (352) 521-1450, option 2.
Pasco County | Florida Department of Health | Rabies | Pets | Animals | Tampabay News
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