Two people were bitten by a feral cat in Sullivan that tested positive for rabies and are undergoing post-exposure treatment, prompting the Madison County Health Department to issue a reminder to residents of how to avoid the disease.
The rabies virus spreads through saliva or animal drool, according to the Health Department. Rabies is not spread by blood, urine, feces or just by petting an animal with rabies. If an animal has rabies and bites you or licks its claw before it scratches, you could be exposed to the virus.
The Health Department recommends:
Teaching children to be safe around animals by being careful of unknown pets, including strays, never feeding or approaching a wild animal, and making sure children are supervised while interacting with animals.
After contact with unknown animals, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water; immediately wash any scratches or bites well with soap and water, and if there is a wound, seek medical attention.
Report any scratches or bites to the Health Department, at 315-366-2526 and healthymadisoncounty.org.
“Residents should be on alert and play it safe and avoid contact with wild animals and pets you don’t know,” said county Environmental Health Director Geoffrey Snyder.