Rabid cat found in Manassas Park; health officials seek more information – WTOP

Prince William County health officials are warning residents of a cat in the City of Manassas Park that tested positive for rabies.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Prince William County health officials are warning residents of a cat in the City of Manassas Park that tested positive for rabies.

The cat was found on Oct. 17 in the area of Martin Drive after it reportedly scratched or bit an area resident, the Prince William Health District said in a news release.

Health officials ask anyone who may have come in contact with a cat in or around Martin Drive between Oct. 7-17 to call the health district at (703) 792-6300.

The cat was described to have long fur that was white with dark brown and black markings. In addition, the animal was noted to have an injured hind leg.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It can be prevented in cats, dogs, ferrets and some livestock with a rabies vaccination.

Rabies kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain tissue of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite, or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound or in the eye or mouth.

To protect pets and their owners from rabies, Virginia law requires that all dogs and cats 4 months old and older be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian, and that vaccinations be kept current.

PWHD reminds everyone to avoid contact with feral cats, bats, stray dogs and wild animals, particularly in the area where the sick cat was found.

Additional steps to protect against rabies exposure:

  • Do not feed stray animals. Avoid wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks. Feed your pets indoors and do not let them wander.
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up-to-date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Teach children to avoid contact with wild animals and pets they are not familiar with.
  • Do not handle sick, injured or dead animals.
  • Keep wild animals out of homes by capping chimneys with screens and blocking openings in attics, cellars and porches. Make sure trash cans have tight fitting lids.
  • If you observe any stray animals in the area, contact the Manassas Park Animal Control Division for assistance at (703) 361-1136. Please do not try to trap or handle stray and wild animals.
  • If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal, do not panic. Wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor or the Prince William Health District for further recommendations.

For additional information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov or call the Prince William Health District at (703) 792-6300.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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