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Winter Haven
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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Polk County Has First Confirmed Case of Rabies in 2022

The first case of rabies in 2022 has been confirmed in Polk County.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section received the test results from the state laboratory in Tampa on Thursday, March 3, 2022, which showed a bat recovered in Winter Haven was positive for the deadly virus.

On March 1st, a family dog in the Lake Mirror area of Winter Haven was found with a live bat in its mouth. The family contacted the PCSO Animal Control, and an officer took possession of the bat. It was then sent to Tampa for testing.

The dog was not injured by the bat, but was at risk due to its exposure to it.

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

Polk County had five confirmed cases of rabies in 2021, and two in 2020.

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