TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three people were exposed to rabies by infected cats recently, according to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
Health officials said the cats tested positive for the virus Monday.
One exposure happened in the area of Glen Harwell Road in Plant City after two people came in contact with white and gray stray cat.
The other exposure happened in the area of East Bank Drive. One person was exposed in this case by a black stray cat.
All the exposed individuals have begun vaccinations to prevent them from getting the disease.
“This incident serves as a reminder that people should stay away from ‘neighborhood pets’ or any wild animal,” the health department said. “Some may be tempted to feed or help the animal, but it isn’t worth the risk.”
The health department urged people to take the following precautions to prevent exposures:
- Keep rabies vaccinations for domestic animals.
- Don’t let pets to run free.
- If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, see a vet.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with trash.
- Do not bring wild animals in your home
- Keep children away from unfamiliar animals
- Prevent bat infestations in buildings
If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at 813-307-8059.