Health officials confirm the presence of rabies in Fredericksburg

Virginia News
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Rabies (File photo)

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A stray cat that bit a human tested positive for rabies on April 2.

The Virginia Department of Health said the cat was picked up in the City of Fredericksburg on March 31. Officials believe the cat is a part of a colony of stray cats that live in the area, so it’s possible other cats could be exposed and infected with the disease.

Rabies is a deadly disease that attacks the nervous system. It can be prevented in animals through vaccination but can be fatal to both humans and animals if untreated.

The person that was bitten is currently receiving the Rabies Prevention Vaccinations.

Rabies is contracted once a rabid animal, bites, scratch or somehow get its saliva or central nervous system tissue into a fresh wound, eye, mouth or nose.

Pet owners in Virginia are required to maintain a current rabies vaccination for animals four months and older.

Officials said people should not approach wild animals and report any uncommon behavior involving one.

To help prevent the spread of rabies, VDH said everyone should:

  • Avoid contact with wild animals and domestic animals you don’t know
  • Report unusual acting animals
  • Vaccinate all your dogs, cats, and ferrets. Keep them current.
  • Call your doctor if anyone has been exposed

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