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The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County has issued a RABIES ALERT for the area surrounding North Dort Street and West Risk Street within the City of Plant City. Please use caution if you encounter any animals in this area.
A white and brown Tabby, domestic short hair cat removed from the area of North Dort Street and Rowena Mays Park has tested positive for rabies.
The Florida Department of Health encourages individuals to protect themselves and family by following the below suggestions:
1. Make sure your pets are vaccinated for rabies2. Stay away from unknown animals to include domestic strays (dogs and cats), farm livestock and free-roaming wildlife (raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats)3. Keep your pets on your property4. Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving food outside5. If you think you have been bitten or scratched by an animal described above, contact the Florida Department of Health at (813) 307-8059
Symptoms of rabies in animals include paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles resulting in the foaming at the mouth. Disorientation, incoordination and staggering may also occur. This is caused by paralysis of the hind legs. Other classic signs of rabies include loss of appetite, weakness, seizures and sudden death.
For additional information and to report animal bites, contact the Florida Department of Health – Hillsborough Environmental Health Services at (813) 307-8059.