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Lee County Rabies Alert

By Lee-PIO

May 31, 2018

Health Officials Issue Rabies Alert 

Contact:
Florida Department of Health in Lee County
Lee-PIO@flhealth.gov

Lee County, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) issued a rabies alert for the Fort Myers area. This is in response to a cat that tested positive on May 30, 2018.

The recent rabies alert is for 60 days. The rabies alert includes the following boundaries in Lee County:

  • Caloosahatchee river to the North,
  • Edison Avenue to the South,
  • Cleveland Avenue/Route 41 to the West,
  • Veronica S Shoemaker Boulevard to the East.

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.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Lee County Domestic Animal Services, 239-533-7387.
  • Call Lee County Domestic Animal Services to report any stray dogs in your neighborhood or private property owners can hire a nuisance wildlife trapper for removal of wildlife. For a list of wildlife trappers, visit  https://public.myfwc.com/HGM/NWT/NWTSearch.aspx
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Do not leave food sources out for wildlife such as pet food or unsecured garbage.
  • Avoid contact with stray and feral animals.
  • 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 Lee County at 239-332-9580.

For further information on rabies, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or call the Florida Department of Health in Lee County at 239-332-9580, or Lee County Domestic Animal Services at 239-533-7387.

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