WOODSTOCK, Va. (WDVM) — Health officials in the Lord Fairfax Health District are warning northern Shenandoah County residents of a rabid feral cat that attacked a person in late June.
According to a press release from Health Director Dr. Colin Greene, on June 27, a feral cat attacked a person in the Macs Mountain road area without provocation. The cat was later killed and tested for the rabies virus, which came back positive.
The Shenandoah County Health Department asks anyone who was bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to the saliva of any stray cats in the area of Macs Mountain Road area since mid-June. Any pets that may have interacted with the cat should be taken to a veterinarian as well.
“While this cat is no longer a threat, it may have interacted with other animals, including other cats, in the area while it was sick.” said Lord Fairfax Health Director, Dr. Colin Greene, “so the rabid cat’s disease may be present in other stray cats in the area, who may develop symptoms in the weeks to come. Feral cats have a particularly high risk of carrying rabies, almost as much as some wild animals, and contact with any feral cat is risky, especially one that appears ill, and especially in that vicinity.”
Health officials say the best way to protect yourself and your pets from the rabies virus is to keep your pets up to date on their rabies vaccine and to avoid wild and stray animals.