Rabid raccoon captured in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A raccoon captured in Springfield has tested positive for rabies, making it the third confirmed rabid animal found in Bay County in 2016.

Health department officials say this raccoon was found near the intersection of E. 7th St. and Russ Lake Dr.

In January, a rabid raccoon was killed near the intersection of North Fox Ave. and Pittsburgh St. In March, another rabid raccoon was captured near the intersection of Tram Rd. and Tyndall Parkway.

The Florida Department of Health in Bay County says all dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months must be vaccinated for rabies.

Health officials suggest you take the following precautions to avoid contact with the disease:

The following advice is issued:
— Secure outside garbage in covered containers to avoid attracting wild animals.
— Do not leave pet food outside overnight as this attracts wild animals to your home and increases the chance of a pet-raccoon conflict.
— 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) 872-4455, x 1125. If the animal is stray or wild, call 911 or Bay County
Animal Control at (850) 767-3333 and report the animal’s location. In the City of Lynn Haven, call the Lynn Haven Police Department at (850) 265-1112. Follow up. Rabies is
preventable when treatment is provided in a timely manner.
— If your dog or cat fights with a wild animal, contact the Florida Department of Health in Bay County immediately. The wild animal will need to be tested for rabies. Your animal may need to be quarantined. Do not shoot suspected rabid animals in the head.
— Do not touch animals that are not yours. Avoid contact with all wildlife, especially raccoons, bats, bobcats, otters, foxes, skunks and coyotes. No animal is too young to have rabies. A rabid animal may act friendly.
— Wear rubber gloves and protective eye wear when dressing/butchering wild animals to avoid exposure to rabies and other diseases. Cook all meat thoroughly to 165 degrees.
— For general questions pertaining to stray animals or odd acting wild animals, contact your area’s animal control department.
— For questions regarding the health of a pet, contact a veterinarian.
— Teach your children about rabies and to never touch a bat.