MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A rabies alert has been issued in Brevard County after two kittens tested positive for the violent and deadly illness. The Brevard County Health Department warns not to take this lightly.
Rabies can be passed to humans in a bite or a scratch, and if it happens to you, timing is critical. You need to report the incident right away, before rabies moves into the brain.
The Health Department says raccoons and bats are the most common carriers of rabies, but if they attack a cat or dog and you then think you’re helping a stray, you’re putting your life at risk.
When a human tangles with a rabid animal, there’s little that can be done to help, but it's urgent that a shot is administered at the point of contact. The two recent cases occurred on January 17 and 23.
County officials say everyone should be vigilant but the center of the watch zone is Industry Drive and the Business Area in Melbourne and Cressa Circle and Fern Meadows in Cocoa.
Michelle Allen says a while back, she left food out for a group of strays that was living under a fallen fence in her yard, but given the two recent scares, she says she’ll stop that right now.
“The babies were trapped under there, the kittens, so we pretty much raised them because I guess they never had their mother,” Allen said.
Health officials say that’s dangerous and residents are advised to make sure pets are up to date with their rabies vaccines.