Rabid kitten found in Lake Park area of Palm Beach County

LAKE PARK, Fla. - A stray kitten found with bite wounds and taken in by a rescue person became ill and later died, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Health.

Testing by the Florida State Laboratory confirmed the kitten had rabies.  The care giver has begun a series of rabies shots as advised by Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County.  

According to Animal Care and Control, the kitten was found near Lake Park in the 9000 block of Old Dixie Highway. 

A person captured the kitten and turned it over to a veterinarian for help.  The vet then gave the kitten to a rescue person for continued care, but the kitten got progressively worse and died. 

While in care, the animal bit the person, prompting a preventive rabies vaccine to be issued. 

Florida Health Palm Beach County continues to investigate others that may have been exposed to this kitten.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can be prevented but not cured.  The virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of warm blooded animals including people.  If exposed, individuals must begin a series of rabies shots within 10 days of exposure to maximize prevention of the disease.

All citizens in Palm Beach County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.  The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this area.  Animal Care and Control has placed informational flyers in the neighborhoods where the bite took place. 

Reminders For Pet Owners

  • All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, wild cats, wild dogs and coyotes.  The following advice is issued:
  • Pet owners are urged to keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

Contact Florida Health Palm Beach County, www.pbchd.com , 561-840-4500.

Animals exhibiting signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1200.      

Related Link: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html

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