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HEALTH OFFICIALS ISSUE RABIES ALERT

November 21, 2018

HEALTH OFFICIALS ISSUE RABIES ALERT

Contact:
Communications Office
786-336-1276                                                                                              

Miami, FL –The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (DOH-Miami-Dade) received confirmation of a seventh raccoon that tested positive for rabies in the same Kendall area. Although the rabies alert had been lifted, it will now be extended for another 60 days ending on January 19, 2019.  The Miami-Dade County boundaries for this alert were as follows: SW 152nd Street to the North, SW 187th Street to the South, SW 117th Avenue to the East, and SW 137th Avenue to the West.

In addition, DOH-Miami-Dade received confirmation of an otter that tested positive for rabies. The otter bit a human and later died. There were four human exposures who had been advised to receive rabies post exposure prophylaxis.  A rabies alert will be in place for 60 days ending on January 15, 2019. The boundaries for this alert is as follows: SW 144th Street to the North, SW 184th Street to the South, Biscayne Bay to the East, US 1 to the West. 

This is the ninth confirmed rabid animal and the first rabid otter identified in Miami-Dade for 2018.

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 Miami-Dade Animal Services at 3-1-1.
  • Call 3-1-1 to report any stray dogs in your neighborhood or private property owners can hire a nuisance wildlife trapper for removal of wildlife. For a list of wildlife trappers, visit https://public.myfwc.com/HGM/NWT/NWTSearch.aspx
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Do not leave food sources out for wildlife such as pet food or unsecured garbage.
  • Avoid contact with stray and feral animals.
  • 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 Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400

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 Miami-Dade County at

305-324-2400, or Animal Services at 3-1-1. 

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida

through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida

Department of Health please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/.

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