August 24, 2018
Tampa, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, has issued a rabies alert for the area near 4500 block of W Knollwood Street Tampa, FL 33614 in Hillsborough County. This is in response to cat (Brown Tabby, Domestic Short Hair) that tested positive for rabies.
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 eighth case of rabies in the county this year. (5 cats, 2 bats, and one raccoon)
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 recent rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is at 4500 block of W. Knollwood Street Tampa, FL 33614 and includes the following area boundaries in Hillsborough County:
· Dale Mabry Hwy, East Boundary
·Hillsborough Ave South Boundary
·Waters Ave, North Boundary
· Veterans Expressway, 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: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or contact Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, (813) 307-8000. Or Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, (813) 744-5660.