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Rabies alert for Gulf County

Anyone bitten or scratched by an animal should get medical attention.
Anyone bitten or scratched by an animal should get medical attention.(WCJB File)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 8:42 PM CDT
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WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Florida Department of Health in Gulf County has issued a rabies alert for Gulf County in response to a fox that tested positive on June 22, according to a news release.

The Dept. of Health reports a person was attacked by a fox near Hwy 71 and Church Ave in Wewahitchka. The rabies alert is for 60 days.

The Florida Department of Health advises residents to take extra caution while outdoors and be aware of your surroundings at all times. All residents and visitors of Gulf County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. Officials say 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.

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.

Here are some tips from the Florida Department of Health

- 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 850-227-1115.

• 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 Gulf County at 850-227-1276.

For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Gulf County, please visit gulf.floridahealth.gov

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