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RACCOON TESTS POSITIVE FOR RABIES

By Public Health Communications

December 10, 2014

BOYNTON BEACH, FL- Florida Department of Health Laboratory confirmed today that a raccoon captured in a lethargic stage by Animal Care and Control on December 6, tested positive for rabies. 

The raccoon was lying overnight in a residence front yard near High Ridge Road.  The property owner’s dog, a boxer named Champ Cooper, made contact with the raccoon.  Cooper is current on his rabies vaccine and will be placed in home observation for 45 days as a precaution. 

According to the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County this is the ninth confirmed rabid animal this year in the county.  Boynton Beach residents should be aware that rabies is in the wild animal population and take all of the necessary precautions to avoid contact. 

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and 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.

The following advice is issued:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.

  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.

  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.

  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.

  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.

  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. 

  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.

 For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website: website: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html or contact the Florida Health Palm Beach County, 561-840-4500. Animals exhibiting signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Control at 561-233-1200.

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