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10th rabies case confirmed in Polk County after raccoon bites 15-year-old boy

Posted at 3:40 PM, Nov 18, 2019

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The 10th rabies case in Polk County has been confirmed after a 15-year-old boy was bitten by a raccoon.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said the boy was bitten on Thursday, Nov. 14 in the Providence neighborhood in Davenport.

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PCSO Animal Control said the boy's grandmother told them her grandson was bitten on his hand after trying to help the raccoon because he looked sick.

Two days after being sent to the state laboratory in Tampa, the raccoon was confirmed positive for rabies.

“It is imperative that children are told to avoid animals like bats, raccoons, and foxes out in the wild, and let me be clear — these animals are wildlife. If you see one in distress, leave it alone and contact Polk County Animal Control immediately,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a release.

The 10 rabies cases confirmed in Polk County have consisted of five bats and five raccoons.

In 2018, there were only three cases of rabies confirmed in Polk County.