VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A rabies alert has been issued in Volusia County after a cat tested positive for the disease, according to health officials.
The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County issued the alert Wednesday for south-central Ormond Beach, adjacent areas of unincorporated Volusia County and a small portion of northwestern Holly Hill, according to a news release.
Health officials said the center of the rabies alert is at Shady Oaks Mobile Home Park in unincorporated Volusia County and includes the following boundaries:
- East of Clyde Morris Blvd
- North of Golf Ave.
- South of Granada Blvd.
- West of Central Park
Residents in other areas of the county should still be aware of the risk, department officials said.
“All residents and visitors in Volusia County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Volusia County,” the release said. “Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not get a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.”
An animal with rabies can not only affect humans and wild animals, but also household pets that have not been vaccinated against the disease, officials said.
Domestic animals should be vaccinated, according to health officials, and should avoid contact with wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.
Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and can be deadly to some animals and humans.
Volusia County health officials are asking residents and visitors to take the following precautions:
- 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 your animal services division by calling Volusia County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 386-248-1777.
- Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
- 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.
Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a wild or domestic animal should seek medical attention and notify the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County at 386-274-0634, officials said.