Rabid cat found in Tampa, two people treated for rabies exposure

Posted at 9:32 AM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 10:02:28-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Officials say two people have been treated for rabies exposure after a domestic short haired black cat was found in Tampa and has tested positive for rabies. 

The Department of Health has identified two people who have been exposed to rabies and they are both currently being treated. 

6-year-old Florida boy dies of rabies after being scratched by bat

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

Several people exposed to rabies in Hillsborough County

Environmental health employees are notifying residents in the area. 

The cat was found in the area of Banyan Bluff Drive in Tampa. 

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County says this is the second time in 2018 that a cat has tested positive for rabies in Hillsborough County. A total of eight humans have been exposed in Hillsborough County. In 2017, three animals exposed ten people. 

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. 

For more information on rabies, click here.