ST. PETERSBURG - The Pinellas County Health Department is seeking the community's help in finding the family of a toddler who may have been exposed to rabies from a raccoon at a Pinellas County park on Oct. 4.
Around 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, an incident occurred at Sawgrass Lake Park, 7400 25th St. N. in St. Petersburg that involved a child and a raccoon. A park employee observed a child near the boardwalk tower who was feeding a pretzel to a raccoon. The animal clawed the boy, who looked to be about age 3.
The park employee asked the adult accompanying the child to seek medical attention because raccoons can carry rabies, a disease that is fatal unless vaccines are provided shortly after exposure.
The adult male took the child away and refused to provide contact information. The park employee described the adult and child as Caucasian. No other description was given for the adult male.
It is very important that the child's family contact the Pinellas County Health Department to assess his exposure to rabies and begin treatment, if indicated. The child's family should call the Pinellas County Health Department at 824-6932 as soon as possible.