The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County has issued a rabies alert for the Navarre area. The alert is in response to a report of a positive test result for rabies in a cat on June 3. The rabies alert will be in effect for the next 60 days.
An animal with rabies may appear sick or lethargic, have problems swallowing, or drool or salivate excessively. A wild animal may appear tamer than usual and some animals may have no visible symptoms.
All residents and visitors in Santa Rosa County should 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 that rabies is active in Santa Rosa County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.
An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.