Days after three people were bitten by a rabid fox in Bratt and someone had an encounter with a rabid bat in Escambia County, Florida, officials say someone was exposed to a rabid bat near Flomaton.
On Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) confirmed the rabies exposure near Flomaton.
“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,” Alabama Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Dee W. Jones said.
Last Friday, the Florida Department of Health (DOH-Escambia) issued a Rabies Alert for Escambia County, Florida, after three people were confirmed to be exposed to a rabid fox and one person was exposed to a rabid bat.
While the Escambia health department did not specify a location, NorthEscambia.com independently confirmed that three people were bit by a rabid fox in Bratt, in the general area of Northview High School and Travis Nelson Park.
“Rabies is a potentially fatal disease. It is important not to handle wild animals, to be aware of unusual acting animals, and to keep pets vaccinated against rabies,” said Marie Mott, DOH-Escambia administrator.
Mott recommended the following precautions:
- Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets and at-risk livestock.
- Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Escambia County Animal Services at (850) 595-0097.
- Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash 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 DOH-Escambia at (850) 595-6700.