MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The second confirmed case of a rabid animal in Miami-Dade has forced the expansion of the rabies alert issued by the Department of Health earlier in the week.
A raccoon found killed by a car in Kendall tested positive for the disease, officials announced Saturday.
In response, DOH-Miami-Dade has extended alert boundaries as follows:
• SW 72nd Street (Sunset Drive) to the North,
• SW 128th Street to the South,
• SW 87th Avenue to the East,
• Florida Turnpike to the West.
Prior to these incidents, Miami-Dade hadn’t experienced a rabies situation since 2001.
DOH-Miami-Dade is working with the county’s Animal Services to identify anyone who might have been exposed to the animal.
“All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes,” said the Florida Department of Health. “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.”
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 Miami-Dade County Animal Services at 311.
• Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
• Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
• 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 Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400.
The rabies alert lasts for 60 days.