Miami-Dade County

Rabies alert back in Kendall after a raccoon is identified — and now there’s an otter

A raccoon stretches out on a windowsill high above downtown St. Paul, Minn., on June 12, 2018. South Florida has had its own issues with raccoons after seven tested positive for rabies in the Kendall area.
A raccoon stretches out on a windowsill high above downtown St. Paul, Minn., on June 12, 2018. South Florida has had its own issues with raccoons after seven tested positive for rabies in the Kendall area. AP

On Monday, a rabies alert that had plagued the Kendall area for months was lifted.

On Wednesday, the alert was reinstated and extended to Jan. 19. The Florida Department of Health found a seventh raccoon that tested positive for rabies and the first since Sept. 17, when the sixth raccoon tested positive.

The Miami-Dade boundaries for this advisory are Southwest 152nd Street to the north, 187th Street on the south, 117th Avenue on the east and 137th Avenue to the west, near Zoo Miami.

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Zoo Miami has placed signs like these through the 740-acre South Miami-Dade park, which is dealing with a rabies scare. Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

This is getting to be familiar territory for the health department and worried residents of the community as several extensions on the alert since July have happened because more rabid animals have turned up.

The Department of Health in Miami-Dade also confirmed that an otter tested positive for rabies in the area of Palmetto Bay — the first rabid otter identified in Miami-Dade in 2018. The otter bit a person and the animal later died, according to the health department. Four people may have been exposed and were advised to get post-exposure treatment.

A rabies alert for that incident in South Miami-Dade is now in effect until Jan. 15 with the following boundaries: Southwest 144th Street to the north, 184th Street to the south, Biscayne Bay to the east and U.S. 1 to the west.

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Otters. Dreamstime TNS

An alert is still in effect for North Miami Beach, after two cats were found with rabies.

That makes 10 confirmed rabid animals in Miami-Dade this year, according to the department of health, which offers some safety tips:

Keep rabies vaccinations current for all pets.

Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving open garbage cans or litter.

Do not allow animals to roam free.

Stay away from stray and feral animals.

Anyone bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400.

If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, take it to the veterinarian immediately and call Miami-Dade Animal Services at 311.

For more information of rabies, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or call DOH-Miami-Dade at 305-470-5660.

A hungry raccoon was captured on video running away with a green iguana at Bill Baggs Park in Key Biscayne.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.


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