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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Rabies Surveillance

Florida Department of Health - St. Johns County

Helpful Links:

St. Johns County

Animal Control

For further information on Rabies in Florida, visit the  Florida Department of Health — Rabies website.

The Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County (DOH — St. Johns) works in cooperation with St. Johns County Animal Control to evaluate cases of animal bites for the purpose of ruling out rabies concern to the individual and community.

About Rabies

Rabies virus can cause a nearly 100% fatal illness in humans and other mammals. The virus is present in some wildlife in Florida and can spread to unvaccinated pets, which then pose a high risk to the pet owner and their family. The main wildlife sources of rabies in Florida are raccoons and bats. Infected raccoons and bats can expose people, pets, livestock and other wildlife to rabies, typically through bites. Outside cats are by far the most common domestic animal found to have rabies in the state of Florida, largely because they are often not kept up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. Dogs, cats and ferrets are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies in the state of Florida.

Some actions people and their families can take to prevent from being exposed to rabies include avoiding direct contact with wildlife, not feeding wildlife, consulting with a veterinarian to ensure pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, and supervising pets and young children while outside. If you believe you may have been exposed to rabies, contact your health care provider and your county health department right away. If an exposure occurred, there is effective treatment that can prevent infections in people if administered in a timely manner.

Rabies Prevention

  1. Avoid direct human and domestic animal contact with wild animals.
  2. Have your veterinarian (vet) vaccinate pets and at-risk livestock, make sure you follow your vet's instructions for revaccination.
  3. Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property.
  4. Never feed wild or stray animals, avoid attracting them with outdoors food sources. Feed your pets indoors.
  5. If your animal is attacked by a wild, stray or unvaccinated animal, DO NOT examine your pet for injuries without wearing gloves. DO wash your pet with soap and water to remove saliva from the attacking animal. DO NOT let your animal come into contact with other animals or people until the situation can be handled by animal control or county health department staff.
  6. Educate the public to reduce contact with stray and feral animals.
  7. Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
  8. Provide pre-exposure prophylaxis for people in high-risk professions, such as animal control and veterinary personnel, laboratory workers, and those working with wildlife.
  9. Bat-proof homes

Rabies Fact Sheets

The rabies fact sheets are adapted from the tri-fold color brochure and are available as black and white PDF documents for downloading, printing, and distribution.

Rabies Fact Sheet (English)

Rabies Fact Sheet (Spanish)

Rabies Fact Sheet (Creole)

Rabies Educational Materials

Color Brochures / Posters:

Color Brochure (English)

Color Brochure (Spanish)

Color Brochure (Creole)

Color Poster- Prevent Bat Rabies

Rabies in Bats

Bats Transmit Rabies in Florida

FWC – Information about bats in Florida

USGS – Bat Lyssaviruses

Florida Bat Conservation  

More Information

For further information, visit the Florida Department of Health — Rabies to learn about:

If you have any rabies questions or concerns, contact DOH-St. Johns County Health Department’s service center for Disease Control & Health Protection.

Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files