A rabid cat was found at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and 10th Tenth Street North in Jacksonville Beach, prompting a rabies alert in effect through Aug. 11.
The rabies alert is for the area bordered on the south by Osceola Avenue at Blue Heron Lane, on the north by Seagate Avenue at Penman Road, on the west by the Intracoastal Waterway at Beach Boulevard, and east by the Atlantic Ocean at Beach Boulevard.
Scott Turner, director of Environmental Health and Safety for the department of health, said beaches residents should take precaution by maintaining control of their pets at all times and ensuring they are up to date on their rabies shots.
“There’s usually a 100 percent fatality rate but if you have your pets vaccinated then that is good protection and prevention from ever getting infected by rabies,” Turner said.
Turner said to avoid contact with wildlife to prevent rabies infections, particularly with raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.
Rabies can be fatal to humans and treatment for exposure to rabies should be sought immediately.
“If an animal bites someone, they need to immediately apply first aid such as scrubbing the wound with lots of soap and water for at least five to 10 minutes,” Turner said. “You need to see your family physician or visit the emergency room.”
MORE | Tips to help prevent rabies infection from the DOH
- Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
- If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact the Florida Department of Health in Duval County at (904) 253-1280.
- Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
- 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 Duval County at (904) 253-1280.
For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health’s website.
Tiffany Salameh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tiffanysalameh