A 3-week-old kitten found in Fountain has tested positive for rabies.
El Paso County Public Health says this is the first reported case of rabies in a domestic cat in the county since 1966.
The kitten was found abandoned under a shed on South Race Street in Fountain. The kitten, which was displaying neurologic symptoms, tested positive for rabies at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Laboratory on October 24, 2013.
According to reports from the neighborhood, the mother of the rabid kitten was a calico cat last seen in early October.
While rabies has commonly been thought to be an issue of wild animals (such as skunks and bats) there have been four other rabid cats in Colorado in 2013. These cats were found in Larimer, Logan, Washington and Weld counties.
|How to recognize sick or diseased animals:|
An unknown number of people who have had contact with the kitten have been assessed by El Paso County Public Health for treatment.
Anyone who may have had contact with this cat, or any stray cats or kittens in the area of South Race Street in Fountain in the past two weeks is asked to contact El Paso County Public Health.
Rabies is fatal once symptoms appear. It is a viral disease that infects the brain and other parts of the central nervous system, causing brain swelling and damage, and ultimately, death.
Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid animals, resulting in the spread of the disease through their infected saliva. Rabies also can be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds, cuts or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.
|Take these precautions to prevent rabies:|
Preventive medication is available for people known or suspected to have been bitten by a rabid animal. It is important for people bitten or scratched by a wild animal or an unfamiliar animal to contact their doctor.
|Reports of Rabies in El Paso County, Colorado|
2013: 9 (4 bats, 2 foxes, 2 skunks, 1 cat)