For Hometown News
The Florida Department of Health has issued a rabies alert for the western region of Volusia County.
This is in response to two raccoons and one feral cat that tested positive for rabies in the last two months.
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 a person from the disease.
All citizens in Volusia 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 Volusia 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.
The recent rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert includes the areas around DeLand, Orange City and Deltona.
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, otters, bobcats and coyotes; this includes feral cats.
Anyone bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and ensure the injury is reported to the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County at (386) 274-0634 or after hours at (386) 316-5030.
For more information visit doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.