Health Officials Issues Rabies Alert in Gibsonton
February 16, 2023
Hillsborough County, FL - The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County issued a rabies alert for the area surrounding Isabel Avenue. This is in response to a cat that tested positive on 2/15/2023 (Description: Domestic Shorthaired Grey).
All residents and visitors in 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. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public. Please be aware that rabies activities can also occur outside the alert area.
This rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is at Isabel Avenue, Gibsonton, FL 33534 and includes the following boundaries in Hillsborough County:
North – Nundy Avenue
East – North Street
South – Kracker Avenue
West – The Kitchen Nature Preserve/Tampa Bay
Anyone who has been bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of this cat is asked to report the exposure to DOH-Hillsborough.
An animal with rabies could infect 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.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets and at-risk livestock.
Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources such as uncovered trash 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 DOH- Hillsborough at 813-559-4339.
For further information on rabies, visit FloridaHealth.gov or call the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 559-4339, or Hillsborough County Pet Resource center at (813) 744-5660.
###About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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