Stray Cat in Fairfield Township Test Positive for Rabies

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY - A Fairfield Township resident was bit by a stray cat that tested positive for the Rabies virus. Upon the positive rabies confirmation, the resident was notified and received the appropriate post-exposure vaccinations.  The Animal Control Officer who trapped the stray cat was also bit during the incident.  After receiving a booster vaccination, the officer has been actively working on trapping other stray cats on the same property.
“The Cumberland County Health Department would like to remind residents that stray and wild animals can carry the rabies virus, and it is important to contact your local Animal Control Officer if you see them on your property,” said Megan Sheppard, Health Officer of the Cumberland County Department of Health.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.  The virus is mainly found in wild skunks, raccoons, cats, or bats. Without appropriate treatment, the rabies virus can be fatal. Animals that have been infected with the virus may appear unstable with a wobbly walk, foam at the mouth, or excessively drool saliva. Wild animals may also appear unafraid of humans or show unusually aggressive behavior.
If you or your pet have been exposed to rabies, it is important to immediately notify the health department so that prompt care can be given. If your pet was exposed, contact your veterinarian immediately; it can be difficult to care properly for a pet’s wound without coming into contact with the virus, and you should always allow the veterinarian to handle as much of the wound care as is possible.
According to the health department, vaccination is key in protecting your pet from the rabies virus.
Contact your local veterinarian’s office to schedule your pet’s vaccination. If you have questions or would like more information on the rabies virus or vaccine, contact the Cumberland Count Department of Health at 856.327.7602 or visit www.ccdoh.org.