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

Rabies alert issued in Hillsborough County after raccoon tests positive for disease
Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 14, 2018

A rabies alert has been issued in northwest Hillsborough County after a raccoon tested positive for the disease.

The raccoon was found near Tannery Ave. in Tampa fighting a dog on Friday. The raccoon was killed by the dog, and the dog was later vaccinated and seen by a veterinarian. However, the owner was asked to keep it quarantined for 45 days.

The boundaries of the alert are:

North: County Line Rd.
West: Veterans Expressway
East: West of I-75
South: Kennedy Blvd./US 60

In the most recent discovery, the Department of Health identified one human and one domestic dog exposure.

Last year, three  animals exposed ten people. During the first three months of 2018, Hillsborough County identified four rabid animals (two cats, one bat and one raccoon)  that exposed 11 people and one domestic dog to the disease.

As a precautionary measure, the exposed person is receiving rabies post exposure treatment. The alert lasts 60 days.

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.