The Marion County Health Department has issued a rabies alert for an area north of Ocala. This week a raccoon that was found in the area tested positive for the disease.
The health department said people need to remember rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.
Alerts like the one issued this week are designed to increase public awareness, but they should not give residents a false sense of security if their area has not been named in the alert.
This rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is just north of the Ocala city limits and includes the following area boundaries in Marion County:
- Highway 326 to the north
- Northeast 35th Street to the south
- Northeast 25th Avenue to the east
- West Anthony Road to the west
An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against the disease. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Residents should keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Marion County Animal Services at 352-671-8727.