Panama City, FL. – Florida Department of Health in Bay County expands a rabies alert issued earlier in March. Now that there are four confirmed cases of rabies within a month, the alert covers the entire Bay County, officials wrote in a press release.
The rabies warning is for 60 days. Rabies is a fatal viral infection of the nervous system that is transmitted from animals to animals or animals to humans by biting, scratching or mucous membranes exposed to infected saliva.
The latest case involved a rabid raccoon killed by dogs outside Oakenshaw Drive between Highway 2301 and Camp Flowers Road in Youngstown. Another raccoon was also killed by a dog in Callaway on Sukoshi Drive off Highway 22 in February. The original rabies alarm sent earlier in March was only for a part of Northern Bay County. Two gray foxes were tested positively for rabies in that area, one off the northern end of Resota Beach Road and the other by Proper Road east of Lake Merial.
Florida law requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated four months or older by a licensed rabies veterinarian. Unvaccinated dog and cat should be kept indoors. Cats are the domestic animal that is likely to be infected with rabies. Keep cats indoors. Do not touch wild animals or fighting cats or dogs. No animal is too young to have rabies.
Operation Spay Bay will offer free rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs on March 16 from 9am to 1pm at Sharon Sheffield Park, 901 Ohio Avenue, Lynn Haven. Operation Spay Bay will also offer other shots and test a low cost. This includes; Distemper for $ 10, kennel cough for $ 10, heartworm test for $ 10 and FVRCP for $ 10. For more information call 850-215-1022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida Department of Health wants to remind citizens that it is accidental or inadvertent to feed raccoons is prohibited in Florida. Feeding dogs and cats indoors and storing debris. Feed raccoons concentrate raccoons at abnormally high densities and increase the likelihood of rabies transfer from raccoon to raccoon and raccoon to dogs, cats and humans. Infected raccoons may seem normal. Moving an infected raccoon can spread rabies.
If the piece or scratch of an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water. Seek medical treatment as needed and report the damage to the Florida Department of Health in Bay County at (850) 872-4455. If the animal is wild or wild, call 911 or Bay County Animal Services at (850) 767-3333 and report the animal's location. In Lynn Haven City, call the Lynn Haven Police Department at (850) 265-1112. Follow-up. Rabies can be prevented when treatment is given on time.
The following advice is issued:
• If your dog or cat hits a beast, contact the Florida Health Department at Bay County immediately. The wild animal must be tested for rabies. Your animal may need to be quarantined. Do not shoot suspect straight 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 rapeseed animal can act kindly.
• Use rubber gloves and goggles when releasing / slaughtering wild animals to avoid exposure to rabies and other diseases.
• Boil all meat thoroughly to 165 degrees.
• Do not hunt animals that appear to be sick.
• If you have questions about the dog's health, contact a veterinarian.
• Teach your children about rabies and never have a bat!
For further information on rabies, visit the Florida Department of Health website at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html or contact the Florida Department of Health in Bay County at 850-872-4720 or follow us on Twitter @FLHealthEmerald.