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Dog Bite Prevention Week runs May 18-24

May 22, 2014
Special to the Reporter ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 18-24, however, Lee County Domestic Animal Services warns all residents to be aware of the potential dangers of dog bites and how to prevent them year round. The concern with bite cases is the possible transmission of the rabies virus -- a fatal neurological virus that can be transmitted from animals to humans through saliva.

Did you know that there are nearly 1,400 reported bite cases in Lee County each year? Those are bites where the victim has sought medical treatment and are reported by medical professionals. The actual number of bite cases is probably much higher. Nationally, 80 percent of victims are under 13 years of age, and most victims know and have interacted regularly with the animal that bit them.

All bites, and details about the animal and owner (if known), should be reported to the Department of Health. Anyone bitten should first seek medical attention, control the bleeding, and wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Regardless of size or breed, all dogs may bite. Only responsible pet ownership and proper training prevent animals from becoming potential biters. Sterilization, socialization, and proper play that does not encourage aggression or biting help limit any risks of bites.

For safety tips and more information on bite safety, go to



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