Rabies alert issued for Hillsborough County

Posted at 10:23 AM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 06:15:35-04

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County issued a rabies alert on Tuesday for the area near Pinnacle Heights Circle in the Tampa 33624 area of Hillsborough County. This is in response to a domestic cat (domestic short hair orange tabby) that recently tested positive for rabies.

The county had previously issued an alert near the Shady Pines Dr. in the Lutz area of Hillsborough County. That alert was issued in response to two raccoons that recently tested positive for rabies.

Hillsborough County Health Department released a statement saying:

"All residents of Hillsborough County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Hillsborough County."

This is the second case of rabies in the county this year, the first case was reported April 21 in the Lutz area of Hillsborough County.

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"Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert."

The rabies alert will stay in effect for 60 days.

The center of the rabies alert is located at Shady Pines Drive, Lutz, FL 33548 and includes the following area
boundaries in Hillsborough County:

  • Lake Brant, North Boundary
  • Hwy 41, East Boundary
  • Lake Magdalene Blvd, South Boundary
  • Lake Charles Cir. / Millan De Avila / Indian Mound Road, West Boundary

An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans.

The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure, will protect an exposed person from the disease.

The following advice is issued:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center at (813) 744-5660.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.
  • Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 307-8059.

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website by clicking here or contact Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, (813) 307-8059. Or Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, (813) 744-5660.