Raccoon in Ocklawaha tests positive for rabies
March 01, 2018
OCALA, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health in Marion County wants Ocklawaha residents to be aware that a wild animal in their area has tested positive for rabies. A raccoon was tested for the rabies virus after an interaction with a domestic animal on Feb. 25, 2018.
People who reside in the North Lake area should maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in the area, particularly those who live east of County Road 314 A, south of State Road 40, north of Southeast 27th Place Road, and west of Southeast 172nd Terrace in Ocklawaha. Domestic animals are at risk if they are not vaccinated; rabies is always a danger in wild animal populations. An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not received a rabies vaccination. This notice is designed to give public awareness but should not give residents a false sense of security if their area has not been named.
Two Florida residents died from the rabies virus in 2017. Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to humans and warm-blooded animals. 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.
Individuals 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 in Marion County at 352-644-2713. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek immediate veterinary assistance for the animal, and contact Marion County Animal Services at 352-671-8727.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- Avoid all contact with wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
- Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
- Do not feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or trash.
- Keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all pets.
- Keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come into contact with wild animals.
- Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might encounter people and pets.
For more information on rabies, go to www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies or call the Florida Department of Health in Marion County at 352-629-0137 or Marion County Animal Services at 352-671-8727.