Cat tests positive for rabies in Cochise County

DHEC says a person caring for a stray cat may have been exposed to rabies. (Source: Pixabay)
DHEC says a person caring for a stray cat may have been exposed to rabies. (Source: Pixabay)
Published: Mar. 1, 2019 at 5:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Residents are being reminded to vaccinate their animals after a cat in Cochise County was tested positive for rabies.

The cat, which was unvaccinated, was tested at the Arizona State Laboratory in February after it became sick, and was eventually euthanized. It was a domestic pet from a rural part of northern Cochise County, making it the first such case for 2019.

Several people, dogs, and livestock were exposed to the cat during the time it was sick and public health, local animal control, and state animal health agencies worked together to evaluate those exposures and make recommendations to prevent infections. No additional animal rabies cases have been identified.

Cochise County Health & Social Services is reminding residents that domestic animals, including livestock, dogs, and cats, should be vaccinated against rabies on an annual basis. Check with a family veterinarian on the vaccination schedule for your pets and livestock.

Citizens are advised to keep backyards clear of food and trash to prevent roaming wildlife from coming near their home. People are also encouraged to avoid contact with wild animals and to report strangely acting wildlife to animal control at 520-432-9500 or the Arizona Game and Fish Department. If a person or animal has contact with a wild animal, it is recommended they consult with a healthcare provider or veterinarian.

Rabies is a virus spread by the bite of, or contact with saliva, of an infected animal. The disease can cause serious damage to the nervous system of humans and animals. The most common sources of rabies in Arizona are bats, foxes and skunks.

To learn more about rabies in Arizona and how to keep people, pets and livestock safe, go HERE.

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