Pet owners in parts of Fort Lauderdale are being asked to be extra vigilant after a raccoon tested positive for rabies Monday.
The Florida Department of Health in Broward County issued a rabies alert for the area bounded by Southwest Ninth Street to the north, Interstate 95 to the west, South Fork of the New River to the east and South Fork of the New River to the south. The alert will be in place for 60 days.
“All residents and visitors in Broward County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated,” the health department said in a news release. “The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Broward County.”
Wild animals with rabies — a disease of the nervous system that can be fatal to warm- blooded animals and humans — can infect animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies.
The health department urges pet owners to make sure that their animal has been vaccinated. Officials also warn against letting animals roam free and handling wild animals.
Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animal is advised to seek medical attention and report the injury to the health department at 954-467-4700.
For more information visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html.