A squirrel that was shot and killed with a BB gun after attacking an elderly woman at a senior center in Deltona Monday tested negative for rabies, a Florida Department of Health official confirmed.
The squirrel scratched and bit a resident at Sterling Court, causing her to fall and break her wrist. A staff member who witnessed the attack shot and killed the squirrel with a BB gun.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Monday's attack was the second incident at the senior home in less than a week. Several people were bitten and scratched when a squirrel got into the activity room around 2 p.m. Thursday. Read about that incident here.
It's unclear if the same squirrel is responsible for both attacks.
The Sterling Court management company, Holiday Touch, issued a statement after the second attack:
“The safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority. We are doing everything possible to keep our residents and staff protected. That includes setting traps throughout the grounds, posting signage throughout the building alerting our residents and staff to be cautious if they need to go outside, and keeping our residents informed of what’s happening at every meal.”
The squirrel's body was taken to the Florida Department of Health to be tested for any diseases. Tests confirmed that it did not have rabies.
Squirrels can contract rabies, but usually they wouldn't survive being bitten by an infected animal. Since 2002, 81 animals in Volusia County have tested positive for rabies. None of them were squirrels.