Second case of a rabid cat reported in Hillsborough County

- A domestic cat has tested positive for rabies in North Tampa, that left one person exposed to the disease, according to health officials.

The second cat is described as a short-haired black cat found in the Banyan Bluff Drive in Tampa, according to the Florida Department of Health. The individual who was exposed is being treated. 

It’s the second time in 2018 that a cat has tested positive for rabies in Hillsborough County. The total number of humane exposures has reached eight. In 2017, three animals exposed ten people in the county.

Health officials advise all domestic animals should be vaccinated, and all contact with wildlife should be avoided. An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated. 

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans. 

The DOH offered 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 Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center at (813) 744-5660.
- 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 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.

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