MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – People who live in a northwestern corner of an expanded rabies alert zone in Kendall said they learned a second raccoon was found with the dangerous virus and it is putting them a little on edge.
The Florida Department of Health was forced to expand a rabies alert area in southwest Miami-Dade County. The new zone stretches as far north as Sunset Drive and as far south as Southwest 128th Street and is bordered by Southwest 87th Avenue to the east and Florida's Turnpike to the west.
"I'm afraid to take my dog out at night," Kendall resident Lana Swanson said. "I live around the corner. We did have a rabid raccoon in there once, and it would chase you."
Swanson and her 13-year-old poodle named Samantha live right inside of the rabies zone. She said just knowing there are rabid animals out there makes her anxious.
"Even late at night when I would let her out in the backyard, I'm fearful, and I go out with her and stand there," Swanson said.
But others, like Jay Abbey, said they're less concerned.
"I think I'm fine, yes," Abbey said.
Abbey said he doesn't have any pets, but he told Local 10 News he's seen raccoons and other animals around in the parks nearby. He plans to avoid any contact as best he can.
"If you go there around this time in the evening, you're going to see raccoons heading to the trash cans and that type of stuff," he said.
How do you prevent your family or your pets from getting rabies?
- Make sure your animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccines.
- Avoid contact with any sort of stray or wild animals you see.
- Close your garbage cans so they don't go on your property in the first place.
- If you know someone who is bitten by a raccoon or other animal, seek medical attention and report it to the Health Department immediately.
For more information about the alert, call the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400.