Rabid Cat Found Near Watertown Apartment Complex
Jefferson County Public Health Service reports that a feral cat found in the East Hills Apartment area off Eastern Boulevard in Watertown tested positive for rabies.
If you live in or have visited the East Hills area and have been bitten by medium sized orange tabby cat between June 17 and July 1, contact the the Public Health Service at 786-3720.
Rabies is a fatal disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord.
It can take several weeks to several months for rabies symptoms to appear.
Early treatment after an exposure can prevent rabies.
Officials say it's important not to touch or feed unknown or feral cats because they can interact with wildlife and have the potential to be rabid.
A feral cat is often unvaccinated.
Officials say to not feed feral cats because giving them food encourages unvaccinated animals to be around your home.
Any mammal can get rabies, but it is most often seen in bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.
Below are steps to help prevent rabies:
- Teach children to stay away from unfamiliar animals, either wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
- Wash any wound from an animal thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
- If your family or your pet has been exposed to a bat, capture the bat and have it tested for rabies.
- If you awaken to find a bat in your room, or a bat is present in the room of an unattended or sleeping child or in a room with someone with a mental impairment, capture the bat and have it tested, and seek medical advice.
- Be a responsible pet owner by keeping your pet's vaccinations current. This is especially important for dogs, cats, and ferrets. Getting your pet vaccinated can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans.
For further information please visit www.jcphs.org and click on Rabies Control.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
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