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Rabies alert issued in Hillsborough County after cat tests positive for disease

Posted at 3:44 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 16:51:37-05

A rabies alert was issued in Hillsborough County after a black and white, domestic short hair cat tested positive. The alert is for 60 days.

The Department of Health in Hillsborough issued the alert for the Plant City area, with the center located at Holly Bluff Ct., and includes the following boundaries:

North boundary: East Alexander St. 

West boundary: James L. Redman Parkway

East boundary: Jap Tucker Rd. and Jim Johnson Rd.

South boundary: East Sparkman Rd.

All domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. 

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.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions: 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 with open garbage cans or litter.  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