Health Advisories and Wildlife Disease

Fish Consumption Advisories
For the most part, Florida's freshwater fishes are considered safe to eat, but one should be mindful of any health advisories for fish in certain areas.

Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)
Cyanobacteria can cause unsightly blooms; cause taste and odor problems in public water supplies and can kill domestic animals, pets, and fish and wildlife that drink or are otherwise exposed to untreated contaminated water or toxic biota.

H1N1 Swine Flu Information
The FWC is working with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to monitor the current swine influenza situation

Hunting and Food Safety External Website
Anyone involved with the hunting, preparation or eating of wild game should be aware of diseases that can be acquired from these animals and their meat. Become familiar with food safety procedures that can help prevent infection at all stages of preparation, from field dressing to cooking and storage.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
CWD attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, and lose bodily functions. It has been diagnosed in mule deer, white-tailed deer, and Rocky Mountain elk in captive herds and in the wild.

Avian Influenza
Hunters and others handling birds should follow routine precautions when handling wild birds and report dead birds to FWC.

West Nile External Website
Keep using insect repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants and dump out standing water in the yard where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

Rabies
The most common mode of rabies viral transmission is through the bite of an infected animal.

Pseudorabies
Pseudorabies is a highly contagious infectious disease of swine caused by pseudorabies virus (PRV), a herpes virus. It is present in both domestic and feral hogs.

Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (URTD)
Upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) is found in gopher tortoises.  Most cases are caused by several species of bacteria generally known as mycoplasma.  This disease is not transmittable to humans, but humans can potentially spread URTD by picking up an infected tortoise and moving it away from its home area into a different tortoise population.

Encephalitis External Website
Tick-borne encephalitis, or TBE, is a human viral infectious disease involving the central nervous system.

Lyme Disease External Website
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick.

Swine Brucellosis
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is encouraging hunters to take precautions when dressing and handling harvested wild hogs.

White Nose Syndrome
White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is named for a white fungus that has been found covering the muzzles and wings of hibernating bats in the eastern part of the United States. More than a million bats with WNS have died.

Raccoon Roundworm
Raccoon roundworm is a parasite that can impact wildlife and humans.  The parasite was recently discovered in Florida and FWC is currently testing raccoons to determine how widespread the parasite is in Florida. 



FWC Facts:
Sea turtles are born with the instinct to move in the direction of the most open horizon. On a natural beach, this direction is toward the ocean.

Learn More at AskFWC