Posted: 07/24/2021 11:06 AM CDT
The Alabama Department of Health announced that a rabid cat was found in Prattville.
According to the ADPH, a stray cat scratched a person in the Durden Road neighborhood of Prattville. The cat was observed to act aggressively towards a nearby resident’s cat. The person was scratched by the rabid cat trying to separate the animals.
The stray cat was taken to the Prattville / Autauga County’s Humane Shelter and tested for rabies.
According to ADPH, the health department routinely tests animals that have abandoned humans and other animals for rabies, especially if the animal is a stray or has an unknown vaccination status. In addition, an investigation will be carried out to ensure that all potentially exposed people are treated appropriately to prevent rabies infection.
Animals that are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal are usually treated with a booster vaccine and a short quarantine period.
According to Dr. Veting your pets is the best way to make sure they are safe from a rabid animal, Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian.
The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva. In general, rabies exposure requires direct contact with infected saliva, usually through a bite or scratch, but other, less frequent, contact exposures to mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) are also considered potential exposures.
It is recommended that these precautions are taken to avoid possible exposure to rabies:
· Do not let pets roam free; cage them in a fenced area or on a leash.
· Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps of food near your home.
· Do not illegally feed or keep wild animals as pets.
· Avoid going near wildlife or pets that are acting strange.
· Warn children not to approach stray or wild animals, regardless of their behavior.
Advise children to notify an adult if they are bitten or scratched by an animal.
A person bitten or scratched by an animal should immediately wash wounds with mild soap and water, provide first aid and seek medical attention, or contact the county health department immediately.
Alabama state law requires dogs, cats, and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older to have the rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccinations are also available for horses and other farm animals if recommended by a veterinarian.