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Health Officials Issue Rabies Alert

By Ethan Johnson

November 15, 2021

Edgewater, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County (DOH-Volusia) issued a rabies alert for portions of Edgewater, FL. This is in response to a cat that tested positive for rabies on November 11, 2021.

All residents and visitors in Volusia 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 Volusia County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give 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 epicenter of the rabies alert by closest intersection is S. Riverside Dr. and Ridgewood Ave. Edgewater, FL and includes the following boundaries: 

  1. Eastern Boundary, the Indian River waterbody
  2. Northern Boundary, Indian River Blvd, 442
  3. Southern Boundary, 26th St and 27th St. 
  4. Western Boundary, Juniper Dr
  • Impacted areas include: Read Edgewater, Mariners Gate, Friendly Shores, Pelican Cove, Pelican Cove West, Silver Ridge, Majestic Oaks.

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 domestic animals.
  • 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 your animal services division by calling Volusia County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 386-248-1777.
  • 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.
  • 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 Volusia County at 386-274-0634.

For further information on rabies, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html.

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