Tampa: Rabies alert issued for East Bank Drive area

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County issued a rabies alert for the area surrounding E. Bank Drive, Tampa.  This is in response to a cat that tested positive for rabies on 3/7/2022.  The cat was a black domestic short hair stray cat.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

One person was confirmed to have been exposed and has begun rabies post exposure vaccination.

This rabies alert is for 60 days.  The center of the alert is on East Bank Drive, Tampa Florida and includes the following boundaries:

  • Northern:  Puritan Road
  • Eastern:   56th Street
  • Southern: E Sligh Ave
  • Western:  Hillsborough River

Anyone who has been bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of this cat is asked to report the exposure to DOH-Hillsborough.

This incident serves as a reminder that people should stay away from “neighborhood pets” or any wild animal. Some may be tempted to feed or help the animal, but it isn’t worth the risk.

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 immunizations.  Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect and 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 Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 307-8059.
  • 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 encounter 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.

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