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Rabies Vaccination

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Broward County will vaccinate wild animals for rabies.

County commissioners approved an almost $2 million oral rabies vaccination program. The five-year program is designed to curb the spread of the disease by targeting raccoons.

Alan Davis of Broward County Animal Care says bait is made of fish meal and the raccoons think its candy. When the animal bites the bait a dose of rabies vaccination is released.

Modern rabies vaccines usually are given in the arm and are no more painful than a flu or tetanus shot. The regimen consists of a series of shots given over a 28-day period.

Officials say a rabid raccoon was found last Friday in Weston. A rabid fox attacked a three-year-old Lakeland girl on Tuesday.

An Orlando newspaper reports that last year Polk County had 12 cases of rabies; Orange County had 15; Volusia, 13; Lake, seven; Seminole, six; Osceola, three; Brevard, two and Sumter, one.

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What is Rabies?

  • Rabies virus causes an acute encephalitis in all warm-blooded animals.

  • All mammals are susceptible to the rabies virus.

  • The animals most known for carrying the virus include: raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes.

Transmission of Rabies

  • Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when the infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal.

  • Various routes of transmission include the eyes, nose, mouth, aerosol transmission, and corneal transplantations.

Symptoms of Rabies

  • First symptoms of rabies in humans may include flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, or malaise.

  • Other symptoms may include cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia.

  • The acute period of the disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days.

  • Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal.

  • There is only six documented cases of human survival from clinical rabies.

  • Disease prevention can be done following a bite from an infected animal, being injected with a vaccine (postexposure prophylaxis).
    • Every year an estimated 18,000 people receive preexposure prophylaxis.
    • Every year an estimated 40,000 people receive postexposure prophylaxis.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention contributed to this report


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