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Lord Fairfax Health District warns residents of potential rabies risk

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 3:47 PM EST
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WINCHESTER, Va. (WHSV) — The Lord Fairfax Health District is warning residents of a potential rabies risk.

According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Heath Lord Fairfax Health District, a small, possibly feral, black cat attacked several people in the area of the 500 block of West King Street in Strasburg on Nov. 28.

That’s in the Strasburg Historic District between the Dunkin’ and Esbie Baptist Church.

According to the release, the cat was captured and died two days later. The Lord Fairfax Health District reports the cat tested positive for rabies.

“This cat no longer poses a threat,” said Lord Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Colin Greene in the press release, “however, anyone who may have had contact with this cat since November 20, especially if the cat bit, scratched, or licked them, should seek medical care immediately for potential rabies exposure. A person whose pet may have come in contact with this cat during the same time period should consult a veterinarian.”

The health department says you should not feed or keep feral cats, and avoid stray cats and dogs, as they may carry rabies. Report any bites or scratches from these animals to your physician or the health department.

At home, vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies and keep their shots up to date. Keep them on a leash when you’re out for a walk or confined on your property, and if a wild animal bites or otherwise interacts with one of your domestic animals, notify the local health department and animal control officer at once.

Rabies is fatal to both humans and animals once symptoms begin, but it can be prevented in humans if they receive vaccination and medication soon after exposure.

If you have questions, you can call the Shenandoah County Health Department at 540-459-3733 or click here to learn more.

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