Third rabies case of 2014 confirmed in Gloucester
The third positive rabies case this year in Gloucester County was recently confirmed, said M.B. Sheppard Jr., environmental health supervisor for the local health department and Three Rivers Health District.
A cat tested positive for rabies from an incident in the Winfred Road area, Sheppard said Friday.
This incident occurred when a stray grey tabby scratched a 5-year-old child and was observed nipping at another cat which was not up to date on its rabies vaccination. Gloucester Animal Control captured the tabby, which Sheppard said did not appear aggressive, and placed it in confinement at the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society on May 3.
On May 4, Gloucester Humane Society staff arrived on the morning of May 4 and found the cat dead, Sheppard said. Gloucester Health Department submitted the cat for rabies testing and received positive results for rabies on May 7.
The child is receiving post-exposure treatment, Sheppard said, and potential secondary exposures are being investigated.
Owners are strongly encouraged to keep their pets’ vaccinations up to date, Sheppard said, and are also encouraged to avoid handling stray or unfamiliar animals and report any animal exhibiting unusual behavior to Gloucester Animal Control.
To help keep wild animals from coming onto your property, Sheppard said, you should properly cover trash receptacles and not leave pet feeding dishes outside.
For more information about rabies, call the Gloucester Health Department at 693-6130.