Fort Myers Beach Raccoon Tests Positive for Rabies

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Be Aware of Rabies Risk

Lee County Domestic Animal Services is asking Lee County residents and visitors to 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, check to see pets’ vaccinations are up to date, and avoid interacting with or feeding wildlife and feral animals. At this time, the state Department of Health has not issued an official rabies alert. State alerts are not typically issued for isolated incidents. One raccoon from the mid-island section of Fort Myers Beach recently tested positive for the disease.

Lee County Domestic Animal Services is hosting a Rabies Vaccine Clinic on Friday, May 19, at its office, 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33912. No appointments are necessary; rabies vaccines will be issued for $5 to cats, dogs and ferrets. For details, visit www.LeeLostPets.com or call 239-533-7387.

An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. In Florida, raccoons, bats, foxes and unvaccinated cats are the animals most frequently diagnosed with rabies. Other animals that are at high risk for rabies include skunks, otters, coyotes, bobcats and stray or unvaccinated dogs and ferrets.

Anyone who is bitten or scratched by wild animals or strays should report the incident to their doctor immediately, then to DOH-Lee at (239) 332-9580.