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Rabies alert issued for neighborhoods surrounding Oviedo in Seminole County

Florida Department of Health in Seminole County issues 60-day alert

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A rabies alert has been issued by the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County for neighborhoods surrounding Oviedo.

Health officials said the 60-day alert is in response to a feral cat that tested positive for rabies in the area.

Residents in the area near West Broadway Street bordered to the north by North Lake Jessup Avenue, to the east by County Road 419 to the south by W. Mitchell Hammock Rd. and to the west by State Road 417 should avoid contact with feral cats and other wildlife, officials said. Rabies activities can also occur outside the alert area.

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Officials said anyone who thinks that they were bitten or scratched by a feral cat, or if you know of anyone who was bitten or scratched by the cat that tested positive for rabies may contact Seminole County Animal Services at 407-665-5201 or the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County at 407-665-3266, officials said.

“Rabies is a disease of the nervous system that can cause paralysis and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans," according to the release from the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. “The virus is spread through saliva, and humans may become infected through a bite wound, scratch or exposure of a fresh cut to saliva of a rabid animal. 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.”

Residents and visitors in Seminole County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. Officials said alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public.

“An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies," the release said. “All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies. Contact to feral cats, stray dogs and all wildlife particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes should be avoided.”

Health officials provided the following advice:

  • All pets should have current rabies immunizations.
  • Secure outside garbage in covered containers to avoid attracting wild animals.
  • Do not leave pet food outside. This also attracts other animals.
  • Avoid contact with all wildlife, especially feral cats, raccoons, bats, and foxes.
  • If bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water, seek medical attention, and promptly report the incident to Seminole County Animal Services.
  • Rabies is preventable when treatment is provided in a timely manner.

Officials said to contact Seminole County Animal Control for general questions pertaining to animals.

Visit the Department of Health’s website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for more information about rabies.