Rabid cat shot after attacking man in Gibsonton

- A  man was able to shoot and kill a rabid cat as it jumped from the bushes to attack him, according to the Hillsborough County Department of Health (DOH-Hillsborough).

The man told officials he was walking near Nundy Avenue in Gibsonton when the cat jumped out of some bushes and grabbed onto his foot. 

He was apparently able to shoot and kill the cat, which was described as a brown and black tabby, domestic shorthair cat. 

The victim is undergoing rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. 

DOH-Hillsborough has issued a rabies alert - lasting 60 days - for the area between the Alafia River, at the north; Symmes Road, at the south; East Bay Road, at the east; and US Highway 41, at the west. 

This makes the ninth case of a confirmed rabid animal in Hillsborough County this year, including a stray cat that attacked three in Tampa last week.

Anyone who has been bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of any wild animal or an animal that is acting unusual should always report the exposure to the local health department and visit their preferred healthcare provider.

The contact number for DOH-Hillsborough is (813) 307-8059. 

For more information about rabies, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html.

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