Health & Fitness

Kitten in Cass County tests positive for rabies

A rabies case has been confirmed by the Cass County Health Department.

A kitten found three weeks ago in Peculiar tested positive for the virus, the health department said in a release.

Three people bitten by the kitten and 10 who were exposed to it are currently being treated to prevent rabies. The health department urges anyone with exposure to stray kittens or cats in the area of 227th Street and Knight Terrace in Peculiar, where the kitten was found, to seek medical attention.

Rabies is a rare but deadly virus. Just one case of a person with rabies was reported in 2015 in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic.

Rabies is primarily transferred through bites. Symptoms include unusual behavior, disorientation, staggering, excessive salivation and aggressive behavior.

The health department encourages citizens who see animals displaying this behavior to contact law enforcement and notify the health department at 816-380-8425 as soon as possible.

The health department also provided the following tips to prevent rabies:

▪ Ensure dogs, cats, and ferrets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. The effectiveness of animal vaccines is the main reason for the nationwide decline in rabies cases among people and domestic animals.

▪ Keep pets under control; do not allow them to run loose.

▪ Avoid contact with stray pets and wild animals; do not keep wild animals as pets.

▪ Report wild animals exhibiting unusual behavior or stray pets to law enforcement officials.

▪ Personal pets should not be handled without protection directly after being exposed to wildlife due to the potential for carrying residual saliva from the infected animal.