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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Rabies Prevention Program

Epidemiology

  •  407-858-1420
  •  

    Mailing Address

    6101 Lake Ellenor Drive 

    Orlando, FL 32809 

     

Rabies is a deadly virus which infects the brain. It is transmitted through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. Prompt treatment with a rabies vaccination will prevent the development of rabies in humans. After the incubation period, usually 21 days, there is no cure or treatment for rabies.

Animals at risk for carrying rabies

  • Raccoons
  • Bats
  • Foxes
  • Skunks
  • Otters
  • Bobcats
  • Stray Cats and Dogs
  • Ferrets

The Epidemiology Department provides pre-exposure rabies vaccinations. The Epidemiology Department also provides rabies vaccinations to persons reporting a bite or other exposure, such as a scratch or contact with saliva in open wounds or mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth), from an animal at risk for rabies.

The program is also responsible for coordinating treatment for animal bite victims through the Health Department, Hospitals, and Local Providers.

Prevention

  • Keep your pets Rabies vaccinations up to date.
  • Spay and neuter your pets.     
  • Avoid contact with wild or stray animals.
  • Never feed wild or stray animals.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Do not leave pet food outdoors.
  • Always cover your trash cans.
  • Don't let pets run free.
  • Prevent bats from entering your home.
  • If your animal is attacked do not touch him without wearing gloves.
  • Wash your pet with soap and water to remove any saliva from the attacking animal.
  • Keep your pet isolated from people and animals until the situation is assessed by Orange County Animal Services and the Orange County Health Department.

For Providers

  • Florida Department of Health Rabies Guide 2014
  • Animal Bites & Rabies Report Form
  • The Rabies Surveillance program works closely with the Epidemiology Department and the Orange County Animal Services office to prevent the spread of rabies in the domestic pet population and in humans. Per Florida laws, animal bites to humans are reportable and pet owners are required to have their pets vaccinated for rabies.
  • Our office investigates all reported suspect animal bites and scratches and the animal is placed under quarantine for observation for 10 days following the exposure. The animal is observed at the end of the quarantine period to be sure that it is healthy.
  • Although rabies in the pet population is not frequent, the disease is fatal and is present in the wild animal population. If you have a pet that has been attacked, you should immediately report it to the local health department and have the animal examined by a veterinarian.
  • Persons reporting bites or other exposures to animals at risk for rabies should contact the Epidemiology Department.
  • Persons who are bitten or scratched by animals or exposed to the saliva of animals through open wounds or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) should seek immediate medical attention. All incidents should be reported to Orange County Animal Services by calling 407-836-3111 and the Orange County Health Department 407-858-1400.
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Rabies Surveillance

  • The Rabies Surveillance program works closely with the Epidemiology Department and the Orange County Animal Services office to prevent the spread of rabies in the domestic pet population and in humans. Per Florida laws, animal bites to humans are reportable and pet owners are required to have their pets vaccinated for rabies.
  • Our office investigates all reported suspect animal bites and scratches and the animal is placed under quarantine for observation for 10 days following the exposure. The animal is observed at the end of the quarantine period to be sure that it is healthy.
  • Although rabies in the pet population is not frequent, the disease is fatal and is present in the wild animal population. If you have a pet that has been attacked, you should immediately report it to the local health department and have the animal examined by a veterinarian.
  • Persons reporting bites or other exposures to animals at risk for rabies should contact the Epidemiology Department.
  • Persons who are bitten or scratched by animals or exposed to the saliva of animals through open wounds or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) should seek immediate medical attention. All incidents should be reported to Orange County Animal Services by calling 407-836-3111 and the Orange County Health Department 407-858-1400.