FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two women in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood were attacked by a raccoon, city fire officials confirmed. They are expected to be OK, but residents are now concerned after learning that the raccoon tested positive for rabies Monday.
Video provided by Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue shows the moments Fish & Wildlife Conservation responded to a home Friday morning after neighbors said a raccoon attacked a woman living there.
She was taken to Broward Health Medical Center to be treated for injuries to her legs, while wildlife officials arrived to trap that animal — which was no easy task.
“Our crews were actually being chased by the raccoon when they went up and tried to treat the woman,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan.
The raccoon was also said to have attacked another resident just a block away. She was also taken to the hospital with injuries.
“We have these raccoons that come into our yard all the time, and I am guessing that it was probably one of those raccoons,” said Fort Lauderdale resident Colin Breslin.
Broward County’s health department issued a rabies alert for the next 60 days. The alert includes the following boundaries:
- S.W. 9th Street to the North
- I-95 to the West
- South Fork of the New River to the East
- South Fork of the New River to the South
Health officials say while they have issued the alert within those boundaries, rabies could also be detected outside of that area.
Therefore, wildlife officials are urging residents to keep their pets indoors as much as possible and make sure they are properly vaccinated.
Pets should be routinely vaccinated for rabies once a year, and all contact with wildlife should be avoided. Particularly, avoid contact with raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, and coyotes.
Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans. The only preventive measure for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Rabies prophylaxis started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.
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