Health officials issue rabies alert for part of Orange County

Alert is for 60 days

Florida Department of Health (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County announced on Monday that it issued a rabies alert for the 32808 ZIP code in Orange County.

The alert is for 60 days and is in response to a cat that tested positive on Oct. 28, according to a press release issued by the health agency.

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The health department said all residents of Orange County should know that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals that are not vaccinated are at risk. The department added rabies activities can occur outside of the alert area.

Contact with feral cats, stray dogs and all wildlife particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes should be avoided, according to the release.

The center of the rabies alert is the 32808 ZIP code, and includes the following boundaries in Orange County:

  • Silver Star Road
  • Edgewater Drive
  • Powers Drive
Rabies alert for the 32808 ZIP code area (Florida Department of Health)

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County asks that if you or a family member has been bitten or scratched by an animal in the rabies alert area of Orange County or any animal, you should seek medical attention immediately and contact Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111.

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 immunoglobulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • All pets and at-risk livestock should have current rabies immunizations.
  • Secure outside garbage in covered containers to avoid attracting wild animals.
  • Do not leave pet food outside.
  • 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 Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111.
  • Rabies is preventable when treatment is provided in a timely manner.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Orange County Animal Services.
  • Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
  • 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 outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children to never 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 more information on rabies, visit the DOH website here, the CDC website here or contact the Florida Department of Health in Orange County at (407) 858-1420.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.