Cat tests positive for rabies in Richmond Co.

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. -- A Richmond County woman is recovering after being scratched by a rabid cat.

She was attacked at her home near Milledgeville and Kissingbower roads. The victim's husband shot and killed the animal, which was then taken by Animal Control and then sent to Georgia Public Health Laboratory for testing.

Our area has seen its fair share of rabid animals lately. Most recently, half a dozen people were treated after they came into contact with a rabid dog in Columbia County. Across the river, Richmond County Health Department found a rabid bat in July. Another rabid cat bit at least one person in Sardis in April.

Symptoms of rabies typically show up within 30 to 50 days of exposure. Depending on where and how severe the bite is, symptoms could show up as soon as 14 days.

The Richmond County Health Department Environmental Section/Augusta Animal Services listed the following as symptoms of rabies:

  • A short period of mental depression
  • Restlessness
  • Abnormal sensations, such as itching around the bite
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Loss in appetite

Other early symptoms include:

  • Stiff muscles
  • Dilation (enlargement) of pupils of the eye
  • Increased production of saliva
  • Unusual sensitivity to sound, light and changes of temperature

Wildlife such as raccoons, skunks and bats, as well as household pets like dogs and cats can contract rabies. Keeping pets and livestock vaccinated, as well as avoiding exposure, is the best way to prevent contracting rabies.

Most people get rabies from being bitten by a rabid animal. If a person has broken skin, like a scratch, and comes in contact with animal saliva with the rabies virus, that person may get infected.

Report any contact of humans with wild animals to Richmond County Health Department Environmentalist Health Section office at (706) 667-4234 and contact of pets with wild animals to Augusta Animal Service at (706) 790- 6836.

More more information, visit The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, the World Health Organization website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


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