Kitten with Rabies Found in New Port Richey
At least six people were exposed to the kitten and have begun treatment, according to the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County.
PASCO COUNTY – A kitten tested positive for rabies Thursday (Nov. 9) in New Port Richey, according to the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County.
It was one of four kittens found in a parking lot in the 7700 block of Congress Street on Oct. 10. The kitten was tested for the rabies virus after it died, following a display of aggressive behavior
toward its three siblings.
Pasco officials said they know of at least six people were exposed to the kitten, and that all six have begun rabies post-exposure treatment. The kittens were about two months old when they were found. They were exposed to the rabies virus before they were dropped off in the parking lot.
Any Pasco County residents or visitors who have been bitten by cats, dogs, wildlife or other animals should contact their physician and report it to the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County.
An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.
The health department offers this advice:
* 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 Pasco County Animal Services at (727) 834-3216, (813) 929-1212, or (352) 521-5194 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.
Pasco Department of Health | Rabies | Kitten | Pets | Animals | Public Health | Tampa Bay News
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