Rabies Alert in Hillsborough’s Westchase Area
The Hillsborough Health Department issued the alert after a cat tested positive for the disease.
WESTCHASE – The health department on Thursday (Feb. 25) issued a rabies alert in the Westchase area of Hillsborough County.
The alert, by the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, came after a gray-and-white cat tested positive for the disease. The alert is for the the area near Mallory Square Drive in Tampa.
The alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is at Mallory Square Drive in Tampa. The alert area is bounded on the east by the Tampa Bay Trail, on the south by Hillsborough Avenue, on the West by Southern Brook Bend and on the north by W Waters Avenue.
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 second case of rabies in the county this year, the first case was reported Feb. 17 in the Citrus Park area. 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.
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 health department offers this advice:
- 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.
- People 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 information on rabies, go to floridahealth.gov. Or call the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, (813) 307-8000; or the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, (813) 744-5660.
Hillsborough County | Westchase | Rabies Alert | Rabies | Hillsborough Health Department | TB Reporter
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