The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section confirmed on Friday, December 19, 2014, the fourth positive case of rabies in Polk County for 2014.
On Thursday, December 18, 2014, a male victim living in the 14000 block of Highway 98 N, Lakeland, was attacked by a fox on his property. The victim sustained injuries to his left leg. The victim shot and killed the fox.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control members responded impounded the fox which was then sent to the State Laboratory for rabies testing. The fox was confirmed positive for rabies on Friday, December 19, 2014. The Florida Department of Health in Polk County has been notified of the exposure. The victim is currently receiving treatment for the exposure at a local hospital.
The first case of rabies was confirmed on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This case involved a raccoon fighting with dogs in 900 block of Campbell Avenue in Lake Wales.
The second case was confirmed on Friday, May 9, 2014, after a bat was found isolated inside a family residence on the 1100 block of Clinton Street in Bartow.
The third case was confirmed on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, and involved a dog fighting with a raccoon in the 8000 block of Holly Ridge Drive, Lakeland.
Residents are reminded that 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