The Osceola County Health Department is warning residents about rabies.

Wild animals usually contract rabies in Florida. Bats and raccoons are most commonly infected, but bobcats, skunks, otters, rodents, panthers and foxes have also been identified as having rabies. Reports of rabid domestic animals include: dogs, cats, horses, cattle and ferrets.

Animals with rabies act strangely; they can be aggressive, attacking for no reason, or very tame. They may drool, stagger or become paralyzed.

Rabies is a virus. It spreads through saliva that comes in contact with open wounds, the mouth, nose or eyes. It causes inflammation in the brains of humans and mammals.

No one should touch or hold an animal that has, or could have, rabies.

See a health care provider immediately if you or someone you care for has been in contact or attacked by a rabid animal. A tetanus shot may be recommended.

Make sure the rabies vaccines for your pets are current.

For more information, call Florida Health in Osceola at 407-343-2000.