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The Villages
Friday, July 12, 2024

Sumter County issues alert after cat tests positive for rabies

The Florida Department of Health in Sumter County is issuing a rabies alert in response to a confirmed case of rabies in a cat that was identified Tuesday in the Sumterville area off U.S. 301 in Sumter County.

The health department is monitoring rabies among wild animals in the area. All residents and visitors should be aware that rabies is currently present in the wild animal population.

People and domestic animals should always avoid physical contact with wild animals (e.g., raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, coyotes), which carry a higher risk of human exposure and a need for rabies post-exposure treatment. If you are exposed to rabies, receiving appropriate treatment after exposure will protect you from the risk of rabies.

This rabies alert is for 60 days and includes the following boundaries in Sumter County: 

· South of EC 470

· North of County Road 528

· East of County Road 529a

· West of County Road 471

A map of the rabies alert boundaries is pictured below, highlighted in yellow:

rabies map

Take the following precautions to prevent rabies exposure:

· Immunize your pets and livestock based on your veterinarian’s recommended schedule.

· Keep pets under direct supervision and on a leash, and keep livestock secured on your property. If an animal bites your pet or livestock, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Sumter County Animal Services at (352) 689-4400.

· Avoid contact with wild or stray animals. Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract them with outdoor pet food, open garbage cans, or other sources of food. If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild or domestic animal, seek medical attention, and report the injury to DOH-Sumter by calling 352-569-3102.

· Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home; instead, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

· Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood. Contact Sumter County Animal Services at 352-689-4400.

· Prevent wildlife, including bats, from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.

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