A Zika Contaminated Region Is Now Dealing With A Rabies Outbreak
Southern Florida was hit with the Zika virus last year, and now it looks as though rabies is could be a problem as well. Two rabid raccoons were recently discovered in Miami and health officials in Florida have been urging residents not to panic, but to educated and aware of the dangers that wildlife can pose to humans. Luckily this recent rabies outbreak does not constitute an “epidemic,” and health officials are not worried since there has not been an outbreak of rabies in Florida for seventy years.
Many residents of Florida remain concerned despite the government’s insistence that there is nothing to worry about. This is largely because the initial rabies alert was updated to include a much more expansive area in southern Florida. Experts say that residents will be fine as long as they exercise caution. For example, do not allow your pets to explore the outdoors unsupervised since pets are common carriers of rabies. Also, make sure your outdoor garbage containers are properly sealed shut in order to prevent raccoons and other wildlife from digging through your garbage.
Despite the public fear that these two rabies cases have caused, animal control official are not actively on the lookout for more raccoons. Only if another raccoon is discovered to have rabies will animal control services begin to search for raccoons as a public health measure. Instead, the Dade county health officials are more concerned with making sure the public is aware of what to do in case a raccoon encounter should occur. County health official in the area claim that searching for raccoon in order to exterminate them will not work to prevent the spread of disease. This is because raccoons are so numerous, and there is no way of telling which ones are infected until they are brought into the proper facilities.
Do you think the rabies outbreak in southern Florida will get worse?