Raccoon in Marion County tests positive for rabies

Health officials warn residents in Zuber area to be wary

A raccoon peers out from his home in a hole in a tree in Moreland Hills, Ohio on Saturday, May. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is issuing a rabies warning after a raccoon tested positive.

Health officials said the animal was found in the Zuber area and are asking residents to be aware.

FDOH-Marion County said people who live and work south of Northwest 69th Street, west of Northwest 38th Avenue, north of Northwest 45th Street and east of Northwest 57th Avenue should be particularly cautious.

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The health department said an animal with rabies could infect other animals that have not been vaccinated yet, warning that pets like cats and dogs could be at risk.

FDOH-Marion advised people in the area to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid all contact with wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Never handle unfamiliar animals even if they appear friendly.
  • Do not feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or trash.
  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come into contact with wild animals.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas where they might encounter people and pets.