Rabid stray cat bites two people in Norfolk

Posted at 11:44 AM, Apr 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-16 13:07:48-04

Norfolk, Va. – A rabid stray cat has bitten two people in the City of Norfolk, according to the Norfolk Department of Public Health.

On Friday, April 11, 2014, the cat bit two people in the 8600 block of Glen Myrtle Avenue.

One victim was attempting to feed the cat. The other was attacked while walking to their vehicle.

The cat can be described as a domestic short hair, female, average adult size, with gray and white markings.

The cat was captured and tested positive for rabies on April 15, 2014, at the Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond.

Norfolk Department of Public Health Environmental staff will canvass the neighborhood to alert residents of the incident.

This is the first rabid animal to be identified in Norfolk this year.

Citizens should not approach wild animals, to include stray cats and dogs. Area residents are reminded to keep pets up-to-date on their vaccinations.

The Norfolk Health Department will be conducting a Rabies Vaccination Clinic, for dogs and cats, Saturday, April 19, 2014, at the main Norfolk Public Health Center, 830 Southampton Avenue. The cost is only $5. For more information, call 757-390-6557.

If anyone believes they have had an exposure to this cat, via a bite or scratch, within the past 10 days, they should contact their physician and the Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712. It is important to note that in the event of any exposure, all animal bites and scratches should be reported immediately to local health departments.

Rabies is 100% preventable; but, once symptoms begin, there is no cure and it is almost always fatal.

Incidents occurring in the City of Norfolk should be reported to the Norfolk Department of Public Health or Norfolk Animal Control at 757-664-7387.

The following precautions are recommended to reduce rabies exposure:

 Be sure dogs and cats are up-to-date on vaccinations.
 Keep pets confined to home and yard.
 Keep yards free of food that could attract wild animals.
 Do not handle, touch or take in stray or wild animals.
 Warn adults and children to report any animal exposure.
 Report stray or unvaccinated animals to Animal Control at 757-664-7387.
 Report all animal or human exposures to the Norfolk Health Department at 757-683-2712.

For further information, please contact the Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health at 757-683-2712.