The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County has issued a rabies alertfor the City of Milton. The alert is in response to a report of a positive test result for rabies in araccoon on May 31, 2019. The rabies alert will be in effect for the next 60 days.
An animal with rabies may appear sick or lethargic, have problems swallowing, or drool orsalivate excessively. A wild animal may appear tamer than usual and some animals may haveno visible symptoms.
All residents and visitors in Santa Rosa County should be aware that rabies is present in thewild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked tomaintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Santa Rosa County. Alerts aredesigned to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of securityto areas that have not been named as under an alert.
An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinatedagainst rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contactshould 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 rabiesimmunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposedperson from the disease.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
· Vaccinate pets against rabies and keep vaccinations up to date.· Keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If apet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately andcontact Santa Rosa County Animal Services at 850-983-4680.· Call animal control services to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.· Bring in pet food at night and secure trash cans with fasteners, or place trash containersin the garage, so they do not attract wild or stray animals.· Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.· Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appearfriendly.· 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 andpets.· Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seekmedical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Santa RosaCounty at 850-983-5200.
For further information on rabies, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-andconditions/rabies/index.html or call the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County at 850-983-5200, or Santa Rosa County Animal Services at 850-983-4680.