Rabies alert for Hillsborough County - WFLA News Channel 8

Rabies alert for Hillsborough County

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Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County has issued a rabies alert for zip code 33625 near the Citrus Park area in Hillsborough County. This alert is being issued after two raccoons tested positive for rabies, one reported in December, and the other in January.

Hillsborough County residents 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, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.

This rabies alert will remain in effect for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert includes the following area boundaries in Hillsborough County:

* Gunn Hwy, North boundary

* Veterans Expressway, East boundary

* Gardner Road, South boundary

* Sheldon Road, West boundary

An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or 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.

The following advice is issued:

* 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 County Animal Services at (813) 744-5660

* Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your

neighborhood

* 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.

 

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