Rabid Feral Kitten Reported in Franklin Township
The Somerset County Department of Health <https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/public-health-safety/health-department> warns residents that a feral kitten in the vicinity of Charles Street in Franklin Township has tested positive for rabies.
On Dec. 10, a sick feral kitten was taken in by a family on Charles Street, who brought it to Franklin Township Animal Shelter on Dec. 15. The shelter immediately brought the kitten to the Easton Animal Clinic where it was examined and euthanized. The animal was sent to the New Jersey Department of Health where it tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have been in contact with this grey and white kitten that was approximately 4 months old is encouraged to contact their health care provider.
Residents who see a wild, feral or unfamiliar animal acting strangely should avoid the animal and immediately call their local police department or animal control. Feeding of wild animals or animals that you do not own is strongly discouraged, because of the risk of rabies. “If you are bitten or attacked by an animal, do not delay in reporting it to health authorities,” said Somerset County Health Officer, Dr. Namitha Reddy. “Rabies is a serious illness that without treatment can be fatal in humans.”
Rabies is preventable with prompt medical attention. People can get rabies through animal bites or when the saliva of an infected animal enters the body through cuts or scratches. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal – including stray dogs and cats – should promptly wash the area that has been affected with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention. If your pet has been bitten or scratched, take your pet to the vet promptly.
Report any incident of animal bites to the police and local health department as soon as possible. Contact information for local Health Departments in Somerset County can be found at: http://bit.ly/HealthDepts.
According to the New Jersey State Department of Health,17 cats tested positive for rabies between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of this year, including one in Somerset County. Suburban areas where raccoons, people and pets are in close proximity often have the highest number of cases.
The best protection against rabies is for pet owners to make sure that their pets get rabies vaccinations on a regular basis and that vaccinations are current. When rabies clinics are scheduled in Somerset County, the information can be found at http://bit.ly/HealthCalendar. The listing is updated as clinic dates are provided to the county health department. Residents also can look to their veterinarian for information.
For more information about rabies, visit the New Jersey Department of Health website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/rabies.shtml
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