Polk County has first confirmed case of rabies in 2023

The first case of rabies in 2023 has been confirmed in Polk County.

On March 22, 2023, a family dog in the Meadowbrook Blvd. area of Winter Haven was found with a live bat in its mouth. The family contacted PCSO Animal Control, and an officer took possession of the bat. Its carcass was sent to Tampa for testing.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section received the test results from the state laboratory in Tampa on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, which showed the bat was positive for the deadly virus.

The dog was not injured by the bat, and has been vaccinated.

“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

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