LYNN HAVEN - A raccoon killed near the south end of the Bailey Bridge in Lynn Haven has tested positive for rabies.
Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The rabies virus is secreted in the saliva of an infected animal or human. Exposure to the virus can be through broken skin (bites, scratches) or mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth).
This is the sixth animal in Bay County to test positive for rabies this year. Four other raccoons and a cat have also tested positive.
According to the Florida Department of Health in Bay County, raccoons, bats and cats are the animals that most frequently test positive for rabies in Florida.
All contact with raccoons should be avoided. It is illegal to feed them. Doing so increases their population and the likelihood diseases like rabies will spread.
Florida law requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be currently vaccinated for rabies. An unvaccinated pet increases your family’s risk for exposure. Dogs and cats without a current rabies vaccination should not be left outside.
If bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water. Seek medical treatment as needed and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Bay
County at (850) 872-4720, X1125.
If your dog or cat fights with a wild animal, contact the Florida Department of Health in Bay County immediately.
For more information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website or call 850-872-4720, X1125.