TAMPA (FOX 13) - A domestic cat has tested positive for rabies near Carmen Court in the 33613 zip code, according to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
This means rabies is present in the wild animal population and unvaccinated domestic animals in the area are at risk.
The health department put a 60-day rabies alert into effect for the following parts of Hillsborough County:
-Bearrs Ave, North Boundary
-Bruce B Downs Blvd, East Boundary
-E Fletcher Ave, South Boundary
-N Nebraska Ave, West Boundary
This is the fourth case of rabies in the county this year. The first two cases were reported in Lutz and the third in Carrollwood.
The health department asks the public to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Hillsborough County. The health department added that rabies alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named.
The following advice comes from the Florida Department of Health:
-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 more information on rabies, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html.