Health department issues alert after otter tests positive for rabies in Delaney Park

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health issued a rabies alert for Orlando’s Delaney Park neighborhood and surrounding areas Tuesday after an otter tested positive for the deadly virus.

The area for which the 60-day alert was issued is centered on South Ferncreek Avenue and surrounded by the following roads:

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· State Road 408/East Anderson Street

· Interstate 4/Division Avenue

· Holden Avenue

· State Road 15/Conway Road

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“An animal with rabies could infect domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies,” the agency said. “All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly (with) raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.”

About rabies

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans.

The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization, the agency said.

Receiving treatment soon after exposure to the disease is crucial.

Tips on avoiding rabies

· Keep rabies vaccinations up-t-date for all pets and at-risk livestock

· Don’t let your pets to run free

· Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash 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 and schools

Read: Florida adds more than 12,000 new COVID-19 cases, 105 virus-related deaths as vaccinations continue across Central Florida

Call Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111 if your pet or livestock is bitten by a wild animal.

People who have been bitten or scratched by a wild or domestic animal are asked to call the health department at 407-858-1420.

Click here for more information.

See a map of the affected area below:

Jason Kelly,

Jason Kelly joined WFTV in 2014.