Bay County – The Bay County Health Department is issuing a rabies alert effective until April 30, 2012 due to a raccoon testing positive for rabies on February 16, 2012. The raccoon was killed by a dog in the Fountain area, near the intersection of Sweetwater Branch Road and Nonawood Road.
This is the second Bay County animal to test positive for rabies in 2012. In 2011, Bay County led the State of Florida with 10 animals testing positive for rabies, including seven raccoons, two domestic cats, and a bat.
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.
An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. Florida Statutes require all dogs and cats over 4 months of age to be currently vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Vaccines purchased at “feed stores” and administered by the animal’s owner do not meet this requirement.