Polk County confirms first case of rabies in 2023 after bat tests positive

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The first case of rabies in 2023 has been confirmed in Polk County, according to the sheriff’s office.

On March 22, a family dog in Winter Haven was found with a live bat in its mouth, deputies said. After the family contacted animal control, an officer took the bat and its carcass was sent for testing, deputies added.

In a release, the sheriff’s office said that the test results came back positive for rabies on Tuesday.

The dog wasn’t injured by the bat and was vaccinated, the release shows.

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“Fortunately, this dog was current on its rabies vaccination, but it will have to be quarantined to make sure it is not infected,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Remember, if a wild mammal is acting aggressive or appears sick, stay away from it and contact animal control immediately.”

To reach out to Polk County Animal Control, contact [email protected] or call 863-577-1762. For more information, click here.

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