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Rabid Raccoon Found in Delray Beach

By Public Health Communications

March 16, 2018

Delray Beach- Florida Department of Health Laboratory confirmed today that a raccoon acting aggressive with puncture wounds and lacerations on its body, and captured by Animal Care and Control east of North Federal Highway near Karen Drive has tested positive for rabies.

Animal Care & Control was notified Saturday, March 10, that a raccoon in the Karen Drive area was acting aggressive toward a fenced dog named Champ.  The Animal Control Officer was able to capture and euthanize the raccoon outside the fence and determined there was no animal or human exposure.  Further examination of the raccoon carcass revealed punctures and lacerations that were several days’ old indicating some other wildlife in the area had come in contact with the raccoon. Champ was current on his rabies vaccines, was not exposed and will not need to be quarantined.

According to the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County this is the second confirmed rabid animal this year in the county.  Residents in the area east of North Federal Highway near Karen Drive are cautioned to avoid contact with any wildlife and report suspicious animals to Animal Care and Control.

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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