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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade’s health department is extending their rabies alert for a section of southwest Miami-Dade another 60 days after another raccoon tested positive.

The Miami-Dade County boundaries for this alert is as follows:
SW 152nd Street to the North
SW 187th Street to the South
SW 117th Avenue to the East
SW 137th Avenue to the West

This is the second confirmed rabid animal this year in the county and second rabid raccoon identified in Miami-Dade.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans.

All pets should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, and skunks.

Symptoms of rabies in an animal include:
Aggressive or lethargic behavior
Disoriented, confused
Unafraid of noises
Difficulty walking, paralysis
Drooling, frothing at the mouth

At Larry and Penny Thompson Park, which is in the rabies warning area, families were enjoying July 4th barbecues and taking the warning seriously.

“Just make sure you’re paying attention to what you’re doing and keep your kids close by,“ said Dahriana Correa as she set up a holiday spread in a park pavilion. “It’s summertime, and just a matter of being careful.“

At a nearby pavilion, Gabriel Hernandez and his extended family were enjoying their cookout.

“Definitely we are concerned. It could be something that could be damaging for our families, so we need to take all measures to protect ourselves,“ Hernandez said.

If you are bitten by a wild raccoon or any other animal, it is urgent that you seek immediate medical attention. There are vaccines and medicines that can prevent the onset of rabies after exposure. However, the disease is fatal for nearly 100% of humans who wait until after symptoms begin to seek medical attention. The incubation period for rabies in humans is typically three to eight weeks, but can sometimes take several months to set in.

Residents and visitors are advised to keep their pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date. If the pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Also, do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter. Avoid contact with stray and feral animals and never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

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.

If you see a wild animal that appears to have rabies or appears to be ill, please call the county’s Animal Control division at (305) 468-5900 or 311.

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