MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County on Wednesday issued a 60-day rabies alert for the Palm View area of Palmetto after a cat tested positive for the virus.

Health officials issued the alert Wednesday, and are reminding residents and visitors that animals are at risk of rabies if they are not vaccinated.

The following boundaries are included in the alert:

  • North: 61st Street East / Palm View Road
  • South: 49th Street East / Experimental Farm Road
  • West: 28th Avenue East / Jackson Road
  • East: County Road 683 / Ellenton Gillette Road

Manatee County residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Anyone bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to DOH-Manatee at (941) 714-7596.
  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets and at-risk livestock.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free. Use a leash to keep pets secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Manatee County Animal Welfare at (941) 742-5933.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to reduce the number of unwanted pets that are not vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with outdoor food sources.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering homes, churches and schools where they might come in contact with people and pets.

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

Treatment for human exposure is rabies-specific immune globulin and immunization. Appropriate treatment should begin immediately after exposure.