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DOH Reminds Residents to Avoid Contact with Stray Pets and Wildlife

By Renay Rouse

November 14, 2019

A bat found in the northeast section of Stuart has tested positive for rabies. All residents and visitors should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population.

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 exposure, will protect the person from the disease.

Take precautions and avoid being bitten:

  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.

  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.

  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.

  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Martin County Animal Control at 772-463-3211.

  • 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, option # 6.