The Houston County Health Department is warning people to be cautious of stray animals. According to a news release from the department, a Houston County resident was scratched by a stray kitten which tested positive for rabies.
The individual picked up the kitten in his yard Thursday. He reported that the animal behaving strangely and scratched him on the right hand. A local veterinarian euthanized the kitten which was sent to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory for testing. Friday, the lab reported the kitten tested positive for the rabies virus. The person who was scratched is now getting post-rabies exposure shots.
This is the second time in a month that someone has encountered a rabid animal in Houston County. In June, a fox attacked a man in Perry. The fox also tested positive for rabies. In Warner Robins, a fox attacked a person but officials were not able to find the fox to test it for rabies. In both cases, the post-rabies exposure shot was the recommended treatment.
According to the health department, the most common wild animals to carry the rabies virus are raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats. The best way to protect yourself is have your pets vaccinated against rabies; not feeding or handling wild animals; avoiding stray animals; and teaching your children not to approach wild animals or stray cats and dogs.