Rabies alert issued for Hillsborough County after domestic cat tests positive

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 15:10:47-04

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, has issued a rabies alert for the area near Carmen Court in the Tampa, 33613 area of Hillsborough County. 

This is in response to a domestic cat (domestic short hair black cat) that recently tested positive for rabies.

This is the fourth case of rabies in the county this year, the first two were reported in Lutz and the third was in Carrollwood.

This alert will last for 60 days.

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.

The center of the rabies alert is at Carmen Court Tampa, FL 33613 and includes the following area boundaries in Hillsborough County:
Bearrs Ave, North Boundary
Bruce B Downs Blvd, East Boundary
E Fletcher Ave, South Boundary
N Nebraska Ave, 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.