Florida’s Department of Public Health issued a second rabies alert for an area just west of the Ocala city limits in Marion County. This is in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies on July 24. This alert, No. 0003/13, is in effect for 60 days.
This is the second alert the Department has issued for July, and the third alert for 2013. The Department issued a rabies alert on July 18 for an area just north of Ocala. That alert is still in effect. The first rabies alert issued this year on March 29 for northern Marion County was terminated on May 29.
This most recent alert is for the Marion County area centered just north of the Ocala city limits within the following area boundaries: Southwest 38th Street to the north, Southwest 66th Street to the south, Southwest 40th Avenue to the east, and Southwest 70th Avenue to the west.
As previously reported, the earlier July alert, No. 0003/13, which is still in effect covers an area centered just north of the Ocala city limits within the following area boundaries: Highway 326 to the north, Northeast 35th Street to the south, Northeast 25th Avenue to the east, and West Anthony Road to the west.
Rabies is a disease of the nervous system. It 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.
Domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. An animal with rabies can infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies. All wildlife contact should be avoided. Contact with raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes especially should be avoided.
Residents should keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Marion County Animal Services at (352) 671-8727.
For more information on rabies call the Florida Department of Health in Marion County at (352) 622-7744.