Rabies alert issued in Franklin County

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 The Florida Department of Health in Franklin County has issued a rabies alert for Franklin County in response to a fox that tested positive on Tuesday, April 19. An individual was attacked and bitten by the fox in the square area outside Apalachicola that is contained within Cypress Street, Connector Road, Rosemont Street, and Highland Park Road. Please take extra caution while outdoors and be aware of your surroundings at all times. 

All residents and visitors of Franklin County should be aware 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 Franklin 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.

 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 and contact County Animal Services at 850-670-4733.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • 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.
  • 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 Franklin County at 850-653-2111.

 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 in Franklin County, please visit http://franklin.floridahealth.gov/index.html.

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