Escambia County bat tests positive for rabies
Escambia County, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed that a bat found in the Flomaton area of Escambia County has tested positive for rabies.
Two positive rabies cases have occurred within the past month in Escambia County, Fla.’s northern areas near the Alabama-Florida state line.
According to ADPH, this particular incident involved human exposure. As a result, the bat was taken to the state Bureau of Clinical Laboratories in Mobile, where rabies was confirmed.
According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, “This should be a stern reminder that all pets should be properly vaccinated against rabies, given the circumstances of rabid animals now in the same general area.” He adds, “It is not unusual to see clusters of rabies cases in wild animals and strays during this time of year.”
It is very common for domestic animals and pets to have contact with a wild rabid animal. Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats, and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock if recommended by a veterinarian.
In addition to vaccination, residents are advised to take the following precautions to avoid possible rabies exposures:
- Do not allow pets to run loose, confine within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
- Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.·
- Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.·
- Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals acting strangely or unusually.
- Regardless of its behavior, caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal.
For more information, visit https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/rabies.html
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