Two kittens living on a ranch in Blue Ridge tested positive for rabies by the Texas Department of State Health Services laboratory in Austin, Texas.
The kittens were bitten by a rabid skunk on the property. All three animals were recovered and have died from the infection. All other domestic animals on the ranch, including cats, dogs, goats and cattle, are confined and under observation. All humans who had contact with the infected kittens have been identified and are being contacted to be treated for their exposure to the virus.
Rabies is a viral illness that can be transmitted through an infected animal’s saliva. Infected animals can transmit the rabies virus prior to the onset of symptoms. The illness can be prevented with treatment before symptoms begin. However, once a person has symptoms, the disease is almost always fatal if left untreated. Animal contact, such as bites or scratches or contact with saliva, may lead to exposure to rabies. Humans who have been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal must have a series of shots to prevent becoming infected with rabies.
Vaccination of all cats and dogs is required by state law and is the first line of defense against human infection. We urge all cat and dog owners to have their animals vaccinated and to keep vaccinations up to date. Please see your veterinarian for more information on rabies vaccination for your pets.
Healthcare providers may contact the Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control office at 817-264-4920.