KRUM, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Denton County Public Health officials announced today that they had confirmed that a cat found in northeast Krum was infected with rabies.
DCPH, who conducted the tests in partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services, said that any residents in or around Cory Court within the Dove Meadows community who came into contact with a stray cat between May 8th and May 18th are encouraged to contact them immediately at 940-349-2909 to speak with an epidemiology investigator.
"Rabies is a rare disease in domestic pets, but if contracted, almost always a fatal condition in humans," stated Dr. Matt Richardson, the DCPH Director. "We want to know if anyone was exposed to this cat between these dates so they can begin a rabies vaccination series immediately."
"It's important to understand the clinical risk of even exposure to saliva from infected animals," said Dr. Marty Buchanan of the Denton County Health Authority. "You don't need to be bitten--merely an exposure to fluids from these animals could be very dangerous. The rabies vaccine is effective in preventing people from getting rabies."
Officials said that routes of exposure could include the cat nipping, biting, scratching, or even licking an individual. It's strongly recommended that anyone exposed to the cat receive prompt postexposure prophylaxis. Without a rabies vaccine, the disease is fatal.
To protect yourself from rabies, DCPH offers the following tips:
- Leave all wildlife and unknown animals alone.
- If you are bitten, scratched, or potentially exposed by any animal, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need postexposure prophylaxis. Rabies in people is 100% preventable through prompt appropriate medical care.
- Vaccinate your pets, and visit your veterinarian regularly to protect your pets and family.
More information about rabies, postexposure prophylaxis, and prevention can be found online at the CDC website. Information on rabies cases, statistics, and vaccination in Texas can be found online on the DCPH website.
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