Rabid Kitten in Cherry Hill
Within days of adoption by a Cherry Hill couple, an 8-week-old kitten began showing aggressive behaviors and neurological problems. The couple promptly took the kitten to the vet. During the visit, the kitten bit both owners. The kitten was euthanized and tested for rabies. Tests confirmed that the kitten did, in fact, have rabies. The owners were treated for the exposure. Kittens typically receive vaccines against rabies (and other viruses) at 3 to 4 months of age.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Rabies is caused by a virus that is spread by close contact with saliva from an infected animal, usually as a result of a bite or scratch that breaks the skin. Once disease symptoms develop, rabies is fatal. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control estimates that 55,000 reported deaths per year worldwide are caused by rabies, mostly in Asian and African countries. Children are especially at risk.
Rabies is prevented with a vaccine. It is a standard part of wellness care for dogs and cats, which is why there are far fewer cases of rabies in Americans. In the case of the rabid kitten mentioned above, the infection occurred before the kitten should have been vaccinated.
In 2007, the first World Rabies Day was held. Since then, World Rabies Day events have been held in 135 countries, educating 150 million people and vaccinating 4.6 million dogs!
September 28 is World Rabies Day. To learn more about this important event, or to participate in planned activities, go to https://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day