A stray kitten that was found near Lake Park in the 9000 block of Old Dixie Highway has died of rabies, and the person who rescued it is being treated.
According to the state health department in Palm Beach County, the Florida State Laboratory found that the kitten, who was found with bite wounds, did in fact have rabies, and died from it.
According to a news release from the Florida Department of Health, the person that found the kitten turned it into a veterinarian. A rescue person then took the kitten for further care, but the animal got worse and worse until it died.
That caretaker is now being treated.
Now residents in Palm Beach County are being asked by Animal Care and Control to be aware that rabies has been exposed to the area, and to be vigilant of wild animals in the area. Residents are also being asked to keep their eye on their pets, and not let them out of their homes alone.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can be prevented but not cured. The virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of warm blooded animals including people.
If exposed, individuals must begin a series of rabies shots within 10 days of exposure.
With this newly found case, the Palm Beach Post is reporting that this likely makes Palm Beach County number one in rabies incidents in the state.
Florida Department of Health also released these tips and reminders for pet owners:
-All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, wild cats, wild dogs and coyotes.
The following advice is issued:
-Pet owners are urged to keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
-If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
-Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
-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 open garbage cans 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.
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