Cat with rabies scratches person in Prattville
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - A stray cat that scratched a person in Prattville has been confirmed to be rabid, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
ADPH says the incident happened in the Durden Road area. The cat was confirmed to be rabid earlier this week.
The cat was seen in the neighborhood acting agressively towards a nearby resident’s cat. ADPH says the onlooker was scratched by the cat after trying to seperate the animals.
ADPH said the cat was taken to the Prattville/Autauga County Humane Shelter and tested for rabies.
The health department will test animals that have exposed people and other animals for rabies, especially if the animal is a stray or has an unknown vaccination status. An investigation also occurs to make sure anyone exposed is treated appropriately to prevent a rabies infection from developing.
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 officials.
Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, says keeping your pets vaccinated is the best way to ensure that they are protected from such encounters with a rabid animal.
Officials are advising area residents to take the following 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 residence.
- Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
- Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual 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.
ADPH says anyone who is bitten or scratched by an animal should wash the wounds with soap and water, apply first aid and seek medical attention.
Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination.
Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.