ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Orange County issued a rabies alert for the Blanchard Park area of Orange County, effective this week.

What You Need To Know

  • A rabies alert is in effect in an area of East Orange County for 60 days

  • A raccoon in the area test positive for the disease Oct. 21

  • Three raccoons have had confirmed cases in the past three months

  • Rabies is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans but can be treated early

The alert will be in effect for 60 days after a raccoon tested positive on Oct. 21.

Rabies has been confirmed in three raccoons in the past three months, and one of those led to the death of a domestic dog, the health department reported.

The most recent positive animal exposed a domestic dog in another part of the county. Health department officials urged residents ensure their family pets have had their rabies shots.

The rabies alert extends to the area north of State Road 50 (Colonial Drive), east of Econlockhatchee Trail, west of Rouse Road and south of University Boulevard. However, rabies activities can also occur outside the alert area, officials said.

Rabies alert area issued for East Orange County in October 2023 (Florida Department of Health-Orange County)


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. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.

If an animal in the rabies alert area bites you or a family member, seek medical attention immediately, and contact Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111.

The health department is advising residents and visitors to take the following precautions:

  • All pets and at-risk livestock should have current rabies immunizations.
  • Secure outside garbage in covered containers to avoid attracting wild animals.
  • Do not leave pet food outside.
  • Avoid contact with all wildlife — especially feral cats, raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, and coyotes
  • If bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water, seek medical attention, and promptly report the incident to Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately, and contact Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111.
  • Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
  • Spay or neuter pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.