At approximately 1:00 pm, on Thursday, July 16, 2015, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control members responded to the 700 block of North Palm Avenue in Frostproof after receiving a complaint about a person being bitten by a bat.
The victim stated she found a bat in her yard and picked it up; when she did, she was bitten. The bat was impounded and sent to the state laboratory for testing.
The State Laboratory reported the bat was positive for rabies today, Friday, July 17, 2015. The victim was advised to seek necessary medical treatment.
There have been three previous confirmed incidents:
The third incident occurred on June 11, 2015 when a female living on Beverly Hills Road in Lakeland reported that while walking on her family's property she was attacked from behind by a fox.
The second incident occurred on Friday, June 5, 2015. Animal Control officers responded to the 1800 block of J. Jackson Road, Fort Meade after receiving a call about a dog fighting with a raccoon.
The first incident occurred on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, a dog owner living on Stokes Road in Lake Wales reported that her dog killed a raccoon on the patio area of the home.
In all the aforementioned cases, the animals were sent to the state laboratory for testing and in each case the results indicated the animals had rabies.
Residents are reminded that foxes, raccoons and bats are among the mammals considered to be high risk species or “rabies vector species” (RVS). However, please do not approach any animal which is acting in an unusual or suspicious manner. If you think you or your pet has had an “exposure,” please contact the PCSO Animal Control Section at 863.499.2600.
For more information on Rabies, please visit: http://www.polksheriff.org/InsidePCSO/LE/SOD/BOSO/AC/Pages/RabiesandYou.aspx