Rabies advisory in place for 60 days

Nick Blank
Posted 9/12/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County health officials issued a 60-day rabies advisory after a feral cat tested positive for the contagious disease in a residential area north of Doctors Lake.

Clay …

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Rabies advisory in place for 60 days

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County health officials issued a 60-day rabies advisory after a feral cat tested positive for the contagious disease in a residential area north of Doctors Lake.

Clay Animal Services Director Christina Sutherin said the cat was found near Eagle Bay Drive. She said the cat didn’t have any identification and Animal Services had not received many rabies complaints near Doctors Lake.

“Fortunately, it’s not something we see in this area, but one rabid animal is scary enough,” Sutherin said.

Sutherin urged pet owners to vaccinate domestic animals and avoid contact with animals such as raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

“The big thing we want to drive home is for people to be vigilant and protect not only their animals but their family too,” Sutherin said.

Rabies affects the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans, according to a Department of Health in Clay County release.

Department of Health in Clay County Spokesman Sonny Rodgers said the cat tested positive Sept. 4, and the DOH would issue another advisory if deemed necessary. He said the advisory was issued after results came back from Bureau of Public Health Laboratories in Jacksonville.

According to the state DOH, some symptoms of an infected animal are aggressiveness, excessive drooling and staggering and the disease is spread through a saliva-based virus. Residents bitten by wildlife are urged to seek medical attention.

“If the public sees other animals like dogs, cats, racoons, possums or any other wildlife that are acting strange or foaming at the mouth, they can contact animal control to have that animal removed,” Rodgers said.

The main number for Animal Services to report a rabid animal is (904) 269-6342 and the DOH listed point of contact is (904) 529-2800.

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