During the pandemic, social distancing has been recommended by the CDC and local health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, you may want to add wild and stray animals to your six feet of distance expectations. The Florida Department of Health has put Orange County on a rabies alert for the next 60 days.
The alert was issued by The Florida Department Health just yesterday. Initially, it only encompassed a 2-mile radius around Hendry Drive and Okaloosa Avenue.
The alert follows a cat identified with rabies that may have infected other animals in the area. Florida Heath advises visitors and residents of Orange County to be aware of animals in their area and remember that pets are also at risk if not vaccinated.
The alert also states that such public announcements are made to bring awareness to the public and should not give a false sense of security to those areas not currently at risk.
Rabies Alert in @OrangeCoFL near Hendry Dr & Okaloosa Dr. A cat tested positive for the disease. The cat may have i… https://t.co/4Mxi34a8qG— GOHealthyOrange (@GOHealthyOrange)1594063454.0
Residents are also advised to secure garbage and not leave pet food outside to deter wild and potentially infected animals from approaching.
The usual carries of rabies include foxes, raccoons, bats, and feral cats, but this alert advises residents to avoid contact with all wild animals.
A video posted to the Florida Health website gives some tips for preventing a potential rabies infection, which the health department says can be nearly 100% fatal in humans and other mammals.
Some may remember an incident from last summer when a portion of Epcot was even shut down during a rabies scare.
Florida Health advises those who may have been bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal to wash the wound with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention, and report the incident to Orange County Animal Service by calling (407)254-9150.
*Photos used for illustrative purposes only.