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Raccoon in Floral City tests positive for rabies

Citrus County Animal Control is urging residents to have their pets vaccinated against rabies after a dead raccoon found in Floral City tested positive for rabies, the third time in 1998 that an animal was discovered to be rabid and the second time in less than a month. The raccoon was found Dec. 18 on Julia Street and possibly had contact with three dogs that live on the street. Test results received Dec. 30 indicated that the raccoon was rabid. Residents with questions can contact Citrus County Animal Control at 726-7660.

Citrus nurses help provide

meningitis vaccines in Putnam

LECANTO _ The Citrus County Health Department on Thursday sent seven nurses to Putnam County in North Florida to help administer meningitis vaccinations, director Marybeth Nayfield said. One Putnam man has died of bacterial meningitis, and at least six other people in that area are known to have the disease, according to news accounts. The state Department of Health has said that all people ages 2 to 22 who live in Palatka or East Palatka should receive immunizations. More than 5,000 people lined up outside Palatka High School on Wednesday to receive vaccinations. Because of the high volume of people needing shots, Putnam officials asked for help.

Cooler temperatures raise

numbers of manatee count

Cooler temperatures this week attracted a much larger batch of manatees into warm area waterways, according to the results of a weekly count that federal wildlife officials completed Thursday morning. The aerial survey showed 327 of the endangered sea cows, more than twice the number spotted in recent counts. Most of those manatees _ 203 adults, 33 calves _ were in Kings Bay. Because gulf and air temperatures were unseasonably high early in December, the number of manatees migrating to local waters had become so low that some dive shops were warning customers to call before their scheduled arrival to make sure there were manatees to see.

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