Six People Undergoing Rabies Treatment After Exposed to Rabid Kitten
NEW PORT RICHEY (PASCO) – Health Department Officials say six people are undergoing precautionary treatment, after they were exposed to a kitten that tested positive for rabies.
According to officials, 4 kittens were found in the parking lot of the 7700 block of Congress Street on October 10th. After two months, one of the kittens began to display signs aggressive behavior towards its 3 siblings. The kitten later died and tested positive for rabies. The remaining siblings were euthanized as a precaution, according to Health Department Representative, Melissa Watts.
Six family members who were exposed to the rabid kitten are undergoing post-exposure treatment at this time.
Watts tells RNRF that they are still evaluating the isolated incident and have not yet issued a warning to the community.
Rabies affects the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals, including humans. The only treatment to human exposure, say officials, is a specific immune globulin and rabies immunization.
Health Department Officials recommend the following to prevent infection and spread of the disease.* Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
* If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.
* Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside or garbage cans open.
* Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
* Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
* Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.
* If you are bitten by any animal, seek care promptly. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Go to your family doctor or hospital for medical attention immediately.
* Contact your local Animal Services Office to report animal bites or scratches and for information on stray dogs and cats.
* Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (863) 648-3200 for concerns about wild animals.
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