BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The Glynn County Health Department is warning residents of a feral cat that tested positive for rabies.
Two people were scratched by the cat around the central Cate Road area of Brunswick. They have been referred to their healthcare provider for possible post-exposure rabies treatment.
It was back in May that a warning was issued on St. Simons after another feral cat tested positive after acting aggressively toward a family dog.
The health department is also advising anyone who might have had exposure to feral cats in the area to contact their health care providers for further guidance.
Here are some tips that the health department recommends for protecting you and your family from rabies:
- Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.
- Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines after 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster shot within one year and vaccination every 1-3 years depending on veterinary recommendation and vaccine used.
- Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
- Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
- Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to learn.
Aside from feral dogs and cats, racoons, foxes and bats are just a few of the wild animals in coastal Georgia that are capable of carrying rabies.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease that can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.
Symptoms of the disease in animals can include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth and paralysis.
If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Glynn County Animal Control at 912-554-7500 and the Glynn County Health Department Environmental Health office at 912-279-2940.