MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County has issued a rabies alert for the Industry Drive area of Melbourne.
This alert has been reportedly issued in response to a stray kitten that tested positive for rabies on Friday.
They say that all residents and visitors in Brevard County should be aware that rabies 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 Brevard County.
Rabies alerts last 60 days. The center of this alert is at the Industry Drive, Business Area of Melbourne. It includes the following boundaries in Brevard County:
- North Wickham Road to the West
- Pineda Causeway to the North
- Highway One to the East
- Mariah Drive and Hickory Drive to the South
Officials say that 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.
As a precaution, they urge that all residents and visitors:
- 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 BCSO Animal Services at 321-633-2024.
- 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 BSCO Animal Services at 321-633-2024.
Fore more information on rabies, visit the Florida Health website or contact the Department of Health in Brevard County at 321-634-6337.