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Rabies Alert Issued for Palm City

By Renay Rouse

August 25, 2017

Residents urged to avoid contact with wildlife and make sure their pets are vaccinated

Martin County, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Martin County has issued a rabies alert for northeast Palm City. This is in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies on August 24.

All residents and visitors in Martin County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Martin County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public. Please be aware that rabies activities can also occur outside the alert area.

This rabies alert is in effect for 60 days and includes the following boundaries in northeast Palm City:

  • East of SW Murphy Road & SW High Meadows Avenue to the St Lucie River
  • North of Martin Downs Boulevard to the Martin County line

This is the second case of rabies in Palm City this year. The first case, also a raccoon, occurred at the end of June in the same region. There has been a total of three rabies cases in Martin County this year.

Rabies & Microchip Clinic : Saturday, by appointment:

  • The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast is hosting a rabies and microchip clinic Saturday, August 26, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Call 772-223-8822 for an appointment. Event will be held at the main shelter: 4100 SW Leighton Farm Ave, Palm City. Cost is $20 and covers the rabies vaccination and microchip.

An animal with rabies could infect domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, and coyotes.

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. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets and at-risk livestock.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Martin County Animal Services at 772-463-3211.
  • Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash or litter.
  • 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, 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 Martin County at 772-221-4000.

Rabies Alert Map

For further information on rabies, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or www.MartinCountyHealth.com