Health Department issues rabies alert for Kenansville area

 The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County issued a rabies alert for the Kenansville.

This is in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies on Friday.

All residents and visitors in Osceola 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 Osceola County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not get a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.

The recent rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is on Daigledog Drive, St. Cloud, and includes the following boundaries in Osceola County:

•South to Pine Tree Road in the St. CloudManor subdivision.

•North to Rebecca Drive in the South Michigan Acres subdivision.

•East to Shelburne Way in the Gramercy Farms subdivision.

•West to Wood Lake Circle in the Canoe Creek Woods subdivision.

An animal with rabies could infect other wild or 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.

•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 Osceola Animal Services at 407-742-8000 or Environmental Health at 407-742-8606.

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

•Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans 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 homes or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

•Anyone 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 Osceola County Epidemiology Program at 407-343-2155.