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Rabid Cat Bites Resident, Then Picked Up By DC Dept. of Health in Northeast | Health

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Rabid Cat Bites Resident, Then Picked Up By DC Dept. of Health in Northeast

This story comes to us from Dena Iverson District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH):

The District of Columbia Department of Health has picked up a feral cat that has tested positive for rabies.  The cat, gray patches with white markings, was picked up from the 1700 block of Lyman Pl. NE on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 after it attacked and bit a resident.  The resident that was attacked is undergoing the required rabies prophylaxis.  Rabies surveillance is being conducted for more animal and human contact. 

DOH staff is distributing and posting flyers in the neighborhood where the cat was picked up to inform the residents that anyone who has had contact with the cat should contact the Department of Health’s staff at (202)-535-1952.  DOH is particularly interested in anyone who may have fed the cat.

“Our Animal Disease Prevention staff continues to educate residents about rabies and the dangers of handling stray and wild animals, and has initiated a trapping plan for further rabies surveillance to capture any remaining cats in the area,” said Dr. Pierre N.D. Vigilance, DOH Director.  “Residents should remember that rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs are required by District law.  We encourage all residents to vaccinate their pets and keep them from wandering freely around neighborhoods.”  

DOH is providing free rabies vaccinations to pets within the Carver neighborhood to ensure that residents have an opportunity to keep their pets up to date on their required rabies vaccination.  To arrange a vaccination, neighborhood residents should call DOH Staff at 202-535-1952.

While there are no reports at this time of persons with rabies-related illnesses associated with this cat or others in the area, DOH is asking residents and visitors not to approach cats and kittens in any stray colony. If residents see animals that appear sick or are otherwise displaying unusual behavior, they should not approach the animal.  Instead, residents are asked to contact the DC Animal Care and Control Agency by calling the Mayor’s Citywide Command Center at 311, 24 hours per day. If bitten or exposed, please consult your physician immediately and contact animal control.

Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted from animals to humans. It is a virus that attacks the central nervous system, causing convulsions, paralysis and finally death. The virus is present in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted primarily by animal bites.  Dogs and cats may contract rabies if they have not been vaccinated against it. 

For more information on the rabies disease visit the DC Department of Health website at www.doh.dc.gov .