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FOX TESTS POSITIVE FOR RABIES

By Public Health Communications

January 27, 2015

Fox Tests Positive For Rabies  

GREENACRES, FL- Florida Department of Health Laboratory confirmed today that a fox impounded  by Animal Care and Control on Tuesday, January 21, tested positive for rabies. 

Animal Care and Control responded to a complaint in the Greenacres area about a dog fighting with a fox. When the officers arrived they found the deceased fox lying in the yard.  The property owner’s dog is a 3 year-old American Bulldog/Australian Shepherd mixed breed name Knobby who made contact with the fox.  The fox had Knobby by the neck and the owner grabbed a wooden board and hit the fox several times until it released the dog.  Knobby 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 first confirmed rabid animal this year in the county.  Greenacres 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:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/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.