Malabar, Florida -- On Friday, October 26, 2012, the Brevard County Health Department received confirmation of a coyote that tested positive for rabies which attacked a woman on Hall Road in Malabar, Florida. Treatment was started for the woman who was attacked by the coyote.
Last Tuesday, the Brevard County Health Department also received confirmation of a bat that tested positive for rabies located at Bristol Lane in nearby Melbourne, Florida.
Rabies is fatal in humans if not prevented in time. The Brevard County Health Department advises everyone in the area who has been exposed to any stray animals or even if their own pet has been exposed, to call Animal Services and Enforcement at (321) 633-2024.
For medical recommendations and questions regarding rabies call Brevard County Health Department, at (321) 454-7111.
The Brevard County Health Department is appealing to the general public to cooperate in the implementation and effectiveness of this warning by:
• Reporting any strange behavior of all animals observed.
• Avoiding direct contact with wild animals, such as raccoons, bats, etc.
• Having all cats and dogs immunized against rabies.
• Immediately reporting any animals running at large.
• Prompt and complete reporting of all animal bites sustained by any individual.
Only qualified personnel, such as health department officials and animal services enforcement officers are advised to handle these animals. Please remember to keep your pet on a leash, keep animal rabies shot up-to-date, and report any sickness in animals.
What are the signs and symptoms of rabies?
The U.S. Center for Disease Control lists the following symptoms of rabies:
The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. These symptoms may last for days.
There may be also discomfort or a prickling or itching sensation at the site of bite, progressing within days to symptoms of cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia.
The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.
Disease prevention includes administration of both passive antibody, through an injection of human immune globulin and a round of injections with rabies vaccine.
Once a person begins to exhibit signs of the disease, survival is rare. To date less than 10 documented cases of human survival from clinical rabies have been reported and only two have not had a history of pre- or postexposure prophylaxis.