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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Rabies Prevention and Surveillance

Florida Department of Health in Volusia County Environmental Health

Image of a Racoon climbing a treeThe Rabies Prevention and Surveillance Investigation program helps stop the spread of rabies in the community by investigating animal bites to humans. It is also possible, but quite rare, that people may get rabies if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth or a wound.

Any mammal can get rabies. The most common wild reservoirs of rabies are raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes and coyotes. Domestic mammals can also get rabies. Cats, cattle and dogs are the most frequently reported rabid domestic animals in the United States.

Environmental Health staff work closely with county and municipal animal control officers to investigate animal bite cases and submit necessary specimens to the state laboratory for testing.

Although human rabies deaths are rare, the estimated public health costs associated with disease detection, prevention and control have risen, exceeding $300 million annually in the United States.

If you need to report an animal bite, please complete this form and fax it to our office at 386-641-0641.

For more information please view the Rabies Prevention and Control Guide 2014 or visit the Florida Department of Health website.