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Pit Bull Rabies Posititive--Area Cautioned to Avoid Animals

By Public Health Communications

November 13, 2017

Western Lake Worth FL- Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County along with Animal Care and Control confirmed today that a pit bull taken to a veterinarian for wound treatment last Thursday was positive for rabies. At least two persons were exposed to the sick animal and the Department of Health is looking for others that may have been exposed.

Department of Health Epidemiologists received confirmation from the Florida State Lab and immediately reached out to the veterinarian, dog owner, and other potential contacts. The Department is also asking anyone from the community, west of Edgecliffe Ave and North of Lantana Road that may have had contact with this or any other stray or wild animal since October 22 to notify the department at 561-671-4184.

Animal Care and Control was notified by a local veterinarian that a sick dog, not current on its rabies vaccine, should be tested for possible rabies. Today’s lab report confirmed the Vets suspicions. Animal Care & Control continues to canvas the area and warn persons to avoid contact with any wild or stray 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 immediatelyand contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.

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

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

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

•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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