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Health Department warns of confirmed rabies in Liberty Co.

Bristol, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health in Liberty County (DOH-Liberty) is monitoring rabies among wild animals in the area. This is in response to a confirmed case of rabies in a raccoon that was killed in the south of the City of Bristol area off County Road 12 in Liberty County on April 15, 2024. All residents and visitors should be aware that rabies may be 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 City of Bristol extending out half a mile of city boundaries. 

Take the following precautions to prevent rabies exposure:

• 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 Liberty County Sheriff’s Department at 850-643-2235.

• 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-Liberty by calling 850-643-2415 extension 3.

• 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 Liberty County Sheriff’s Department at 850-643-2235.

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

• 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.

For more information on rabies, please visit FloridaHealth.gov/Rabies or contact DOH-Liberty  at 850-643-2415 extension 3.

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About the Florida Department of Health

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Follow us on X at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit FloridaHealth.gov.

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