JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Duval County on Monday reminded everyone to avoid contact with stray animals after some were exposed to a rabid bat.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, residents were urged to avoid contact with wild and stray animals to better protect themselves from the risk of exposure to rabies. The Jacksonville resident exposed to the virus had to undergo post-exposure treatment and vaccination.
The Department of Health pointed out that the rabies virus can cause death in humans and other mammals. The virus infects the central nervous system, eventually causing brain disease, resulting in death if it is not treated quickly.
"There is nothing to mess with.This is not a joke.You must immediately see a doctor," said Dr. Susan Shelton, of St. Francis Animal Hospital. "Often, you may have heard of things like for example, they are afraid of water, they can foam in the mouth.In general, what you will see, it's just an animal inappropriate, so neurologically or mentally inappropriate – maybe running around in circles. "
According to the Ministry of Health, the majority of rabies cases occur in animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes and feral cats. People can take the following steps to protect themselves and animals:
- Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all domestic animals and livestock at risk.
- Do not let pets run freely.
- Do not handle, feed or attract animals with outside food sources such as garbage or uncovered garbage.
- Teach children not to handle unknown animals, whether they are wild or domestic, even if they seem friendly.
USEFUL LINK: FAQ on rabies
If it is bitten or scratched by an animal, the Department of Health recommends that people consult a doctor and report the injury by calling (904) 253-2567.
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