Stray cat tests positive for rabies in Voorhees, NJ

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 4:24PM
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VOORHEES, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A stray cat has tested positive for rabies in Voorhees, New Jersey, health officials announced on Tuesday.

The cat was brought to an animal shelter on May 23 to be monitored for signs and symptoms of rabies. Then, on June 5, health officials said the cat began exhibiting symptoms, prompting the animal shelter to arrange for rabies testing.

Camden County Department of Health and Human Services was then notified on June 10 of the rabid animal.

The Camden County Health Department said they have since notified the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The only known human exposure was the veterinarian at the shelter and proper precautions were taken, according to health officials.

"Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment," said Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, liaison to the Camden County Health Department. "If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention."

Health officials are reminding residents and pet owners to:

  • Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets.

  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.

  • Contact your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood. They may be unvaccinated and could be infected by the disease.

  • Enjoy wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes from afar. 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. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance.

  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they seem friendly.

  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces where they might come in contact with people or pets.

  • When traveling abroad, avoid direct contact with wild animals and be especially careful around dogs in developing countries. Rabies is common in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Tens of thousands of people die of rabies each year in these countries.

For more information, visit the CDC website or call the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at (856) 374-6370.