Gloucester Twp., N.J. (CBS) – A stray cat brought to a Collingswood Veterinarian’s office from has tested positive for rabies.
The stray cat was found in Williamstown, Gloucester County.
The cat was taken to a veterinarian in Collingswood with a bite, but vets are unknown of the bite’s origin.
The vet recommended that the owner quarantine the cat and keep an eye on it for any symptoms of rabies. At that time, they vaccinated the cat.
The cat later began to act lethargic and it was taken back to the vet, where they made the decision to euthanize the cat because of its symptoms.
Samples were prepared and sent to NJDOH for rabies testing and it was confirmed that the cat was rabid.
Four individuals from the Collingswood residence have started human exposure prophylaxis. The veterinarian and the veterinary staff have started prophylaxis due to their exposure.
Additional possible exposures are being investigated and required action will be taken if exposure is confirmed.
“It is important to avoid contact with stray or unfamiliar animals. If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Health Department. “Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment.”
Rodriguez urged county residents protect themselves, their families, and their pets from rabies by observing a few simple rules, including acting responsibly as a pet owner:
1. Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets.
2. Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.
3. Contact your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood. They may be unvaccinated and could be infected by the disease.
Residents can learn more about rabies by accessing the information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/