Rabid raccoon confirmed in Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Florida Department of Health in Bay County has confirmed a case of a rabid raccoon in the area.

Health officials collected the raccoon after it fought a dog on Sapp Rd., south of Cottondale, and tested positive for the disease.

If you know of any bites or possible exposure to suspected rabid animal, call the Health Department at (850) 482-9227 during regular business hours.

The Jackson County Health Department also has a 24/7 answering service at (850) 526-2412

“We need to act quickly in some cases to save people’s lives. Never shoot a biting animal in the head," T.G. Harkrider, the environmental health director at FDOH Jackson County, said in a press release. “An intact brain is needed to determine if the animal is rabid. If you shoot them in the head and destroy the brain, we have to assume the animal was rabid. Without negative lab results, treatment to the victim has to begin."

Florida also requires by law that all dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies.