HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County issued a rabies alert for a Tampa neighborhood after confirming that a stray cat found there was rabid.
- Three people confirmed exposed, all receiving treatment
- Rabies alert lasts for 60 days
- In 2018 eight animals identified by county as rabid
The alert was issued for an area near the 4500 block of W. Knollwood Street. The boundaries of the area under the alert are Waters Avenue to the north, Hillsborough Avenue to the south, Dale Mabry Highway to the east and Veterans Expressway to the west.
The department confirmed that three people were exposed to the rabid cat on Tuesday, August 21. The attack, according to the officials, was unprovoked, and the three victims were related.
All three are receiving treatment.
It is unknown at this time if others came in contact with the cat, described as a brown tabby, domestic shorthair cat. The department said a photo of the cat was not available.
The department encouraged anyone who was in the boundary of the affected area and was bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of a cat fitting this description or any wild animal to contact them at 813-307-8059 and visit their preferred health care provider.
To date in 2018, the DOH in Hillsborough has identified eight rabid animals (five cats, two bats and one raccoon) that exposed 18 people and four domestic dogs to the disease.