This press release put out at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL (North of High Springs) - Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, has issued a rabies alert in response to a dog that tested positive for rabies reported on January 30, 2015.
Anyone who has had contact with an approximately 30-pound black and white Bull Terrier dog in the vicinity of Gateway Farms tree farm, 22413 NW 227th Drive High Springs, in the last three weeks is urged to contact the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County promptly for consultation at 352-334-7981 or after hours at 352-334-7900.
The rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is at NW 227th Drive North of High Springs and includes the following area boundaries:
- North to the Santa Fe River
- South to County Road 236
- East to NW Old Bellamy Road
- West to US Hwy 41
Everyone 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 Alachua County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.
An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals 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, otter, 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.
The following advice is issued:
- Keep rabies vaccination up to date for all pets.
- If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Alachua County Animal Services at 352-264-6870.
- Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
- 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.
- 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 Alachua County at 352-334-7930.
For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website, or contact Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930, or Alachua County Animal Control at 352-264-6870.