Rabid Cat Found in Prattville
The Alabama Department of Public Health says a rabid cat has been found in Prattville.
According to ADPH, a stray cat scratched a person in the Durden Road area of Prattville. The cat was seen acting aggressively towards a nearby resident’s cat. The person got scratched by the rabid cat while trying to separate the animals.
The stray cat was taken to the Prattville/Autauga County Humane Shelter and was tested for rabies.
ADPH says the health department routinely tests animals that have exposed people and other animals for rabies, especially when the animal is a stray or has an unknown vaccination status. Additionally, an investigation occurs to make sure that all people who were potentially exposed are treated appropriately to prevent a rabies infection.
Animals that are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal are usually treated with a booster rabies vaccine and a short quarantine period.
According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, keeping your pets vaccinated is the best way to ensure they are protected from a rabid animal.
The rabies virus is transmitted by saliva. In general, rabies exposure requires direct contact with infected saliva, usually through a bite or a scratch, but other less common contact exposures with mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) are also considered as potential exposures.
You are advised to take these precautions to avoid possible exposure to rabies:
· Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
· Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your home.
· Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
· Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange manner.
· Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
· Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
A person who is bitten or scratched by an animal should wash wounds immediately with mild soap and water, apply first aid and seek medical attention or contact the county health department immediately.
Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock if recommended by a veterinarian.