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

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Animal Bites and Rabies Exposure to Human or Pet

Florida Department of Health in Alachua County

Animal Exposure to Human or Pet 

With the cooperation of Alachua County Animal Services, suspected rabid animals are quarantined and/or tested to determine if the animal may have transmitted rabies to a human or pet through a bite or scratch. The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County also consults with patients, physicians, and veterinarians regarding the current recommendations for treating a rabies exposure. Alachua County Animal services can be reached at 352-264-6870.

Additional Information:

Animal Bite Report Form

Florida Department of Health Rabies Program

Rabies Prophylaxis 

Pre-Exposure:

For those persons traveling to a place that requires rabies vaccine or if you work or visit an area where there is an increased chance of Rabies exposure, DOH-Alachua offers pre-exposure immunizations through our Immunization Clinic without an appointment. Please note that pre-exposure vaccine is a 4 dose series and must be administered 3 weeks prior to travel.

Post-Exposure:

Human exposure to rabies most frequently involves the bite of a rabid animal. A rabies exposure is defined as any bite, scratch, or other contact in which saliva or nervous tissue of a suspect or known rabid animal enters an open wound, or comes into contact with mucous membranes by entering the eye, mouth, or nose of another animal or person.

If you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to an animal that has or is suspected to have rabies, please go to the nearest Emergency Room for wound care and prophylaxis.

The healthcare provider, to whom you present with the animal bite or other rabies exposure, has the responsibility to determine whether rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is required, to counsel you on the risks and benefits of PEP and to begin PEP as appropriate and available.

Individuals with potential rabies exposure, who have initiated PEP with their initiating healthcare provider, should complete the PEP with that same provider. Those referred to the Department of Health for completion may contact the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County's Epidemiology Program at (352) 225-4181 to arrange for PEP.