Three People Suffer Raccoon Bites In Escambia County; Health Dept. Issues Warning

August 1, 2019

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County is urging  residents and visitors to protect themselves from the risk of rabies exposure by avoiding contact with wild and stray animals after three people in Escambia County recently suffered racoon bites.

Kimberly Pace, FDOH-Escambia health educator consultant, declined to specify the geographic area in which the individuals were bitten. She said, “at this time FDOH-Escambia wants to ensure that all county residents are taking the precautions.”

The FDOH-Escambia advises against feeding or attempting to feed all wild and stray animals.

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the central nervous system. Without proper treatment, rabies can cause brain infection and death. Rabies is transmitted by a rabid animal by a bite, a scratch, or by contact with mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth. A series of “rabies shots” can protect a bite victim from developing the rabies infection, if given soon after the bite occurs.

“Rabies is a fatal infection but is preventable,” notes FDOH-Escambia’s director, Dr. John J. Lanza. “It is important to not feed or pet wild and stray animals, to avoid animals that appear to be acting strangely, and to keep pets vaccinated against rabies. Persons who are bitten by a wild animal or an animal who has not been vaccinated against rabies should seek immediate medical care. Proper medical treatment of an animal bite can be life-saving.”

In Florida, raccoons, foxes, bats, and cats are the animals most frequently diagnosed with rabies. Other animals that are at high risk for rabies include dogs, bobcats, skunks, and otters. Because of their proximity to people, stray and unvaccinated cats and dogs pose a special risk.

You cannot always tell if an animal has rabies by looking at it. To protect yourself and your loved ones against rabies follow these steps:

  • ·    Teach your children not to go near wild and stray animals, and never keep them as pets.
  • ·    Vaccinate your dog, cat, ferret, or horse to protect against rabies. Keep vaccinations up-to-date.
  • ·    Do not feed your pets outside. The food may attract wild animals.
  • ·    Make sure your garbage is securely covered. Open garbage attracts wild and stray animals.
  • ·    Spay or neuter your pet to reduce its tendency to roam or fight.
  • ·    Do not let your pets roam freely or allow them to interact with wild or stray animals. Keep them in a fenced yard or on a leash.
  • ·    Call Escambia County Animal Control, at 850-595-0097, to remove stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • ·    Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come into contact with people and pets.
  • ·    If your pet is bitten by another animal, immediately seek veterinary assistance for your animal and contact Escambia County Animal Control.
  • ·    If you are bitten by a wild animal, or by any animal that is acting strangely, seek medical care as soon as possible so that a physician can evaluate your risk of rabies infection and administer the rabies vaccine if appropriate.

File photo.

Comments

14 Responses to “Three People Suffer Raccoon Bites In Escambia County; Health Dept. Issues Warning”

  1. terri on August 6th, 2019 4:00 pm

    For heaven sake…….what if grandmaw was sickly and had a bad disease…would you have the shovel ready …

  2. Bill M on August 2nd, 2019 12:27 pm

    What are they afraid of, if they tell us where the bad Raccoon is do they think we’re going to try to hug them and teach them to be more friendly?

  3. Marshall on August 2nd, 2019 11:58 am

    I’m curious, as to how these folks are getting bitten by these Raccoons? They are normally nocturnal and pretty shy unless you try to mess with them. I’ve grew up in the country/woods, and have never even come close to getting bitten. I have a Raccoon family living on my property now, and have never been threatened.

  4. terrie on August 2nd, 2019 9:28 am

    OMG…..maybe a sign would help PEOPLE STAY AWAY FROM WILD LIFE…

  5. Really... on August 2nd, 2019 12:50 am

    Animal control gave a statement about the mayor protecting himself and family. They said he was well within his rights to do so. So if you feel like you need to go hug a coon, Kool-aid, feel free too. The rest of us will make sure any wild, old acting animals stay away from us even if we have to use a shovel.

  6. Kool-Aid on August 1st, 2019 9:12 pm

    Atmore Mayor= Coongate….anyone else killed that coon they’d at least be fined or having to hire a lawyer…keep electing these guys and keep getting same results

  7. Bowhunter on August 1st, 2019 5:49 pm

    MAYOR JIM STAFF ( HAVE SHOVEL WILL TRAVEL ) CALL 1-800-KILL-A-COON

  8. TJ on August 1st, 2019 4:48 pm

    @Trisha ~ I think you are absolutely correct! I live in Brevard County now and the Health Department here, and in all the surrounding counties tell us exactly where rabid animals have been found and where the alert zone is. I think keeping it a secret is counter productive.

  9. Willis on August 1st, 2019 2:02 pm

    Yup, that’s correct.

    Where’s the shovel when you need it.

  10. Sedition on August 1st, 2019 12:48 pm

    “Kimberly Pace, FDOH-Escambia health educator consultant, declined to specify the geographic area in which the individuals were bitten.”

    Dereliction of duty.

  11. Rasheed Jackson on August 1st, 2019 12:20 pm

    Where is the mayor of Atmore when you need him? No joke intended at the Mayor,s expense, I felt he was well within is rights to protect himself or his family against the racoon. Hopefully this article will make all those stone throwers realize he was right.

  12. Trisha on August 1st, 2019 12:10 pm

    I think Animal Control should tell the public the general area that rabid animals are found. It seems that every summer we see stories of rabies and they tell the public to take precautions. However, honestly I think with most people it goes in one ear and out the other. Alarmed for a day or two then forgotten because you falsely believe that your animals are safe and you have not heard rumors of your neighbors animals that have gotten sick. If I knew that rabies had been found in my general area I would be on high alert every time I let my dogs outside.

  13. paul on August 1st, 2019 11:03 am

    Unless it’s a turtle, if you can get close enough to catch a wild animal, something’s wrong with it..

  14. Yup on August 1st, 2019 10:36 am

    And that’s why you keep a shovel handy…….





Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.