For Immediate Release
December 2, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE works with Florida health department
to identify a child in need of rabies treatment

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is working with the Florida Department of Health to identify a child who was attacked by a coyote at a Florida campground in mid-November and is in need of treatment.  The Florida Department of Health contacted KDHE after receiving information about the incident from a concerned citizen. There is limited information available, however the Florida Department of Health believes the child may have a connection to the Wichita area and may not have received treatment yet.

“Rabies is completely preventable with a series of vaccinations and we want to make sure that this child receives the appropriate treatment,” said Dr. Ingrid Garrison, Kansas State Public Health Veterinarian. “It is important that the child see a health care provider and start the vaccinations as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact KDHE at 1-877-427-7317.

The risk for human exposure throughout the United States is real, but preventable. In 2008, there were 6,841 cases of rabies in animals in the U.S. including 140 in Florida and 67 in Kansas. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite. From 2000-2008, 26 people died from rabies in the U.S. The last case of human rabies in Kansas was 1968.

KDHE offer these tips to prevent rabies: