Man attacked by rabid raccoon says alert zone is too small

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - After a rabies alert was set for the Kendall area in Miami-Dade, a man who said he and his cat were attacked by a rabies-infested raccoon believes the alert zone is not big enough.

Nearby the Miami-Dade College Kendall campus lies a wooded area where Dr. Les Gerson believes raccoons are breeding, and for that reason said the rabies alert should be extended to encompass college campus.

Gerson said he and his cat were attacked by a rabid raccoon. “Something wasn’t normal. It just stood there with saliva coming out its mouth,” Gerson said, telling his story. “The next thing you know, it’s coming at me.”

Gerson kicked the raccoon away, killing it in the process. But upon testing, the raccoon was discovered to have rabies, sparking a 60 day rabies alert for the areas between Southwest 88th and 95th Streets and Southwest 117th and 107th Avenues.

“Something needs to be done,” Gerson said.

Gerson said setting up an alert zone is not enough and believes more should be done to control the feral cat population and to trap raccoons.

Officials with the state said the County Health Department, working with the Florida Department of Health, a veterinarian and a state epidemiologist, had established the boundaries, and as of now, there are no plans to change the alert zone.

The current zone ends right across the street from where the raccoon was found, and doesn’t include the campus, located two blocks away.

“Students are still playing outside, teachers are getting out of their cars, and yet we have rabid raccoons in this area, and I had one attack me,” said Gerson.

Officials from Miami Dade College said they have not had a problem with raccoons on the campus.

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