Recent cases in First Coast highlight rabies risk

By Deirdre Conner, The Florida Times Union

An uptick in rabies cases and a recent Duval County case that exposed six people to the deadly virus have public health and animal authorities calling for more awareness of the disease.

Rabies, which is most often transmitted by wild animals, especially raccoons, is deadly for cats and dogs if they aren’t vaccinated against it. And where humans are exposed, an intensive post-exposure prophylaxis regimen is required.

Raccoons, as well as cats, foxes and bats, are the most common animals found to be rabid in Northeast Florida. According to Florida Department of Health statistics, fewer than a dozen confirmed cases of rabid animals typically are confirmed in this region each year.

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