Rabies alert issued for Nassau County

The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County issued a rabies alert for northwest Nassau County on Dec. 5. This is in response to a fox that tested positive on Dec. 4.

All residents and visitors in Nassau County 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 Nassau County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public. Please be aware that rabies activities can also occur outside the alert area.

This rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is at Kings Ferry, and includes the following boundaries in Nassau County:

Ÿ St. Mary’s River to the North,

Ÿ Middle Road to the West,

Ÿ Owens Farm Road to the East,

Ÿ W. County Road 108 to the South.

An animal with rabies could infect 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:

Ÿ Keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all pets and at-risk livestock.

Ÿ Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Nassau County Animal Services at 904-530-6150.

Ÿ Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.

Ÿ Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.

Ÿ Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash or litter.

Ÿ Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

Ÿ Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.

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