LIBERTY – Sullivan County Public Health Services is sending out a warning for people to stay away from stray cats as well as wild animals.
A kitten tested positive for rabies and had recently scratched two people in the Town of Delaware. They are being treated for rabies exposure.
“Rabies continues to be a health concern in Sullivan County. Summer and warmer weather mean more time spend outdoors as well as an increase in the wild animal population,” said Public Health Director Nancy McGraw.
She noted rabies is a deadly disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord, and can be transmitted from infected mammals to humans and other mammals.
Rabies is most commonly found in raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but pets can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them from the disease.
McGraw said the public should be aware that if you feed a feral (wild) cat, it becomes your legal responsibility to care for and vaccinate it for rabies.
She said kittens too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors until they can be vaccinated, normally 12 weeks, and annually after that, or a three-year vaccine.