July 31, 2018
For More Information, Contact
- VDH-Northern Region Public Information Officer Lorrie Andrew-Spear – 703-530-2627
Seek Help Immediately if You Were Exposed
(Winchester, Va.) — The Lord Fairfax Health District is notifying the public of a rabid cat found on the south end of Maurertown. On Friday July 27, 2018, at least three persons in or near the Hillview Subdivision in Maurertown, Va., were attacked by a black cat which was found to be infected with rabies. Known attacks occurred specifically on Nikita Drive and nearby Old Valley Pike. The cat has been captured and euthanized, and no longer poses a threat, but anyone who believes they had contact with this cat, especially if bitten, scratched, or licked by it, should immediately report to the nearest emergency room. Anyone whose pet was exposed to this cat should contact their veterinarian immediately. Rabies is a deadly disease that is 100% fatal once symptoms begin, but can be prevented with treatment if begun shortly after exposure. For further information or questions, call the Shenandoah County Health Department at 540-459-3733.
The Health Department strongly advises that people take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies:
- Avoid stray cats and dogs. Feral or unknown cats and dogs may also carry rabies. Report bites or scratches from these animals to your physician or the Health Department.
- Vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies (even if they don’t go outdoors) and keep their shots up to date.
- Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.
- If one of your domestic animals is bitten or otherwise interacts with a wild animal, notify the local Health Department and animal control officer at once.
- Never approach or touch wild animals, especially any raccoon, fox, skunk, or bat, especially if it is behaving oddly or if it is seen in the daylight. These animals are the main carriers of rabies in the eastern United States.
- Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs. Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home.
If in doubt, or if you have a question, call your local Health Department: Winchester/Frederick County – 540-722-3470; Clarke – 540-955-1033; Warren – 540-635-3159; Page – 540-743-6528, or Shenandoah – 540-459-3733.
Additional information on rabies is available from the Virginia Department of Health at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/rabies-control/.
The Lord Fairfax Health District serves residents in the city of Winchester and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/lord-fairfax/.