TAMPA — A rabies alert has been issued and three people are receiving treatment because of an unprovoked attack Tuesday by a rabid cat near Sligh and Manhattan Avenues in Tampa.
The Florida Department of Health issued the 60-day alert Saturday for an area bounded by Waters Avenue, Hillsborough Avenue, Dale Mabry Highway and Veterans Expressway.
The brown tabby, domestic short-hair cat was later found near the 4500 block of W Knollwood St. and tests confirmed it was rabid. The three victims are related. The Health Department said in a news release it did not know whether others had contact with the cat.
Anyone within the boundaries who was bitten, scratched, or exposed to the saliva of a cat fitting the description should contact the Health Department at (813) 307-8059 and visit a health care provider, according to the news release.
So far in 2018, the Health Department has identified seven rabid animals in Hillsborough County — five cats, two bats and one raccoon. They exposed 18 people and four domestic dogs to the disease.