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Hurricane Irma Update - Animal Bites

By Public Information

September 09, 2017

PALM BEACH COUNTY- Florida Department of Health and Animal Care and control have been diligently reviewing all animal bite victims since the rabid fox was identified August 31 that had attacked and bitten three victims.

With the pending storm we have observed about 40 victims bitten by stray and wild animals mostly dogs and cats.  To date none have been rabid.  As the storm increases persons are reminded to not take in or approach any stray or wild animals. 

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.    

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