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Racoon attack prompts officials to issue rabies alert for IRC

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Health department officials issued a rabies alert Thursday after a racoon attacked a person and their domestic cat in late May.

The racoon tested positive for rabies on June 2, Florida Department of Health in Indian River County officials said. Health department officials issued a rabies alert for 60 days for the following areas:

Anyone bitten or scratched by a racoon or outdoor domestic cat within the last two weeks in the areas mentioned above should contact the health department immediately. Health officials urged residents to avoid contact with wild animals, which they said are known to carry rabies.

Rabies is a nervous system disease that could possibly be deadly for warm-blooded animals and humans, according to the health department. The only treatment for humans exposed to the infection is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization, officials said.

Health officials also encouraged residents to get their pets vaccinated against the infectious and fatal disease. Pets should be kept indoors or on leashes when outside, health officials said.

The health department also warned residents to not feed pets outdoors because food will attract wild animals. Those who want more information on how to protect themselves and their pets against rabies can visit the health department website or contact them at 772-794-7440.


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