The Florida Department of Health in Indian River (DOH-Indian River) has issued a rabies alert for Indian River County. This rabies alert is for 60 days and includes the following boundaries:
• South of State Route 60 also known as 20th Street
• North of Oslo Road also known as 9th Street SW
• East of 66th Avenue
• West of US Highway 1
This rabies alert is in response to a stray cat that tested positive for rabies on May 15. While working in their yard, the victim was attacked by an adult, tricolor (browns), domestic, shorthaired cat on May 13. The victim defended themselves with a garden tool. It is important that you contact the DOH-Indian River immediately if you have been scratched or bitten by a cat meeting this description in the last two weeks in the geographic boundary of the rabies alert.
All residents of Indian River 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 Indian River 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.
Health officials urge residents to protect themselves from the risk of rabies exposure by avoiding contact with wild and stray animals and to vaccinate their pets. “We strongly advise residents not to approach or feed wild and stray animals, and keep their pets vaccinated,” said Miranda Hawker, Indian River County Health Officer.
An animal with rabies could infect 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. Free ranging domestic cats that compete with wild animals for food sources are at risk for getting rabies.
For more information on rabies please go to: