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New rabies case reported bringing total number to 10
January 15, 2019 — Animal Services

raccoon lying in grass eating a piece of wood

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Miami-Dade County received confirmation of a seventh raccoon that tested positive for rabies in the same Kendall area as previous alerts. Although the rabies alert for that area had been lifted, it will now be extended for another 60 days.

In addition, DOH-Miami-Dade received confirmation of an otter who tested positive for rabies. The otter bit a human and later died. There were four human exposures who had been advised to receive rabies post exposure prophylaxis.

This brings the total to 10 confirmed rabid animals - seven raccoons, two cats and one otter - identified in Miami-Dade in 2018.

The Miami-Dade County boundaries for the latest Kendall alert ending on Jan. 19 are as follows:

  • SW 152 Street to the north
  • SW 187 Street to the south
  • SW 117 Avenue to the east
  • SW 137 Avenue to the west

All other rabies alerts have expired.

An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. 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 immune globulin 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:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets. Rabies vaccinations are required for dogs, cats and ferrets in Florida.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so as to avoid contact with wild animals; If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Miami-Dade County Animal Services at 311.
  • Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter; Never bring a wild animal 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.
  • Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400.
  • Rabies vaccines are available seven days a week at Miami-Dade Animal Services or through a private veterinarian; Call 311 for hours.

For more information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website, call them in Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400 or call Animal Services at 311.

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