Health department issues rabies alert in Hendry County

Published: July 16, 2021 11:30 PM EDT
Updated: July 16, 2021 11:34 PM EDT

Florida Department of Health in Hendry County (DOH-Hendry) issued a rabies alert for the Clewiston area recently. This is in response to a dog that tested positive July 13.

According to DOH-Hendry, all residents and visitors in Hendry County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population, and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.

Members of the public are being asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Hendry 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,” DOH-Hendry share din its alert.

According to the press release, the recent rabies alert will stay active for 30 days. The center of the rabies alert is at Midstate Loop and includes the following boundaries in Hendry County:

  • South of US Highway 27 to Hookers Point Road
  • East from Francisco Street to Evercane Road

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 deadly 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 City of Clewiston Animal Control at 863-983-1474
  • 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 living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches,
    schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and
    pets

Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek
medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Hendry
County at 863-302-6047.

For further information on rabies, go to the rabies page on DOH’s website, or call the Florida Department of Health in Hendry County at 863-302-6067, or local animal control at 863-983-1474.

MORE: Florida Department of Health – Rabies