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Rabies advisory issued after bat incident at cinema in Fort Pierce

TouchStar Cinemas in Fort Pierce affected
Posted at 8:35 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 20:52:27-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County has issued a rabies advisory after a bat-related incident was reported at TouchStar Cinemas in Fort Pierce.

In a news release Wednesday, the agency said it is monitoring rabies among wild animals in the area.

Specifically, the state Department of Health wants to be contacted if people came in contact with a bat while present at TouchStar Cinema in Sabal Palm Plaza at 2539 South U.S. Highway 1.

"Receiving appropriate treatment quickly will protect you from the risk of rabies," the agency said in the release.

The agency can be called Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 772-462-3883. On weekends or after hours, call 772-462-3800.

"People and domestic animals should always avoid physical contact with wild animals, especially bats, which carry a higher risk of human exposure and a need for rabies post-exposure treatment," the agency said.

People are asked to take the following precautions for you and your pets:

• Keep your pets under direct supervision and on a leash so they do not come in contact with wild or stray animals. If an animal bites your pet, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact City of Fort Pierce Animal Control Division at 772-467-3720 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or dial 911 before or after office hours.

• Avoid contact with wild or stray animals. Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract them with open garbage cans or litter.

• Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.

• Immunize your pets based on your veterinarian’s recommended schedule.

• Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.

For more information on rabies, please visit