Rabid raccoon bites worker near West Palm Beach

The Florida Department of Health warns wildlife can transmit rabies to pets and people. (iStockPhoto)

A worker at the Breakers West Country Club has tested positive for rabies after a raccoon bite.

According to the Florida Department of Health, on May 4 a raccoon was acting aggressively when it scratched and bit the employee at 1550 Flagler Parkway, outside West Palm Beach.

The health department said a local trapper captured the raccoon and took it to Animal Care and Control for testing. The Breakers West employee is in the process of receiving a five shot series of preventive vaccines.

People are being asked to avoid wildlife at Breakers West.

The is the fourth rabid animal in Palm Beach County this year.

Rabies is a fatal nervous system disease, with the only treatment being a specific immunization.

The Florida Department of Health advises to:

• Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.

• Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.

• Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.

• Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.

• Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.

• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

• Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.

• Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website or contact the Florida Health Palm Beach County, at 561-840-4500. Animals showing signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Control at 561-233-1200.

WPEC-CBS12 is the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s news partner.

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