Following a rabid raccoon attack, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is advising residents to be careful around wild animals.
The raccoon in question scratched and bit a worker in the community of Breakers West last week. The attack was reported to the county. A local trapper caught the animal, which then tested positive for rabies.
The victim of the raccoon attack started a five-shot course of rabies vaccines.
This is the fourth confirmed rabid animal case in Palm Beach County this year.
Rabies is a lethal virus that attacks the nervous system. People exposed to the virus can survive if they start treatment immediately.
The health department has a list of recommendations for preventing the spread of rabies:
- 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 Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
- Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
- 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.