Rabies alert issued after feral cat tests positive in Palmetto

Pictured: Area where the feral cat that tested positive for Rabies was found in Palmetto. 

A feral cat in the Palm View area of Palmetto tested positive for rabies Wednesday, prompting the Department of Health in Manatee County to issue a rabies alert for residents. 

Health officials said the rabies alert will last for 60 days and will affect the Palm View area, which includes the following boundaries: 

  1. North: 61st Street East / Palm View Road
  2. South: 49th Street East / Experimental Farm Road
  3. West: 28th Avenue East / Jackson Road
  4. East: CR 683 / Ellenton Gillette Road

Rabies in the wild animal population can pose a risk for visitors' and residents' domestic animals if they aren't vaccinated, so the public is urged to be aware. 

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Domestic animals should be vaccinated and stay away from all wildlife, including raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes, the DOH said. 

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is considered fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans, according to local health officials. The only treatment for humans is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization, but they must be treated immediately. 

Manatee County health officials are urging anyone who is bitten or scratched by a wild or domestic animal to seek medical attention and call the DOH, keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for animals and not let pets run free. 

Anyone whose pet has been bitten by a wild animal needs to see veterinary assistance immediately and contact Manatee County Welfare. 

For more information on rabies, call (941) 714-7596 or click here