Stray cat tests positive for rabies

Published 10:11 pm Monday, August 15, 2011

The Suffolk Health Department received confirmation on Aug. 12 that a stray barnyard cat found in the Pruden Boulevard area has tested positive for rabies.

The feline scratched a boy and a man. Both are receiving post-exposure vaccines.

Exposure of humans to rabies occurs when the saliva of an infected animal enters the body through an open wound or mucous membrane, such as with an animal bite.

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Without preventive treatment, by the time a human develops symptoms of rabies, there is no cure and the disease is fatal in almost every case.

The disease is also fatal in domestic dogs and cats that have not been vaccinated.

The health department recommends the following steps for Suffolk residents to take in protecting themselves and their pets from rabies:

4If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact the Suffolk Animal Control at 514-7855 or the Suffolk Health Department at 514-4751.

4Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite.

4Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially bats, foxes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, cats and dogs.

4Ensure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of four months to be vaccinated against rabies.

4Confine your pets to your property.

4Securely seal garbage containers with lids.