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Kitten with Rabies Update

January 30, 2017

RABID KITTEN AT HEARTLAND RESCUE RANCH IN SOUTHPORT 

January 30, 2016

RABID KITTEN AT HEARTLAND RESCUE RANCH IN SOUTHPORT
Florida Health in Bay working to get those who may have been scratched or bitten by the kitten into rabies treatment

PANAMA CITY, Fla.- The Florida Department of Health in Bay County is advising persons bitten or scratched by an orange and white kitten at Heartland Rescue Ranch in Southport between January 10, 2017 and January 24, 2017 to contact their doctor or the Florida Department of Health at (850) 872-4455 regarding a possible rabies exposure.  The kitten tested positive for rabies on January 26, 2017.  The earliest the kitten may have been capable of infecting a human through bite or (claw) scratch is January 10, 2017. An animal with rabies may not have noticeable symptoms. The kitten was originally found on the 1200 Block of West 23rd Street in Panama City in December and was likely exposed to rabies in that area. 

Kitten with RabiesRabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to humans if an exposure is not treated in a timely manner.   The rabies virus is secreted in the saliva of an infected animal or human. The virus can also be found in nervous system tissues.  Exposure to the virus can be through broken skin (bites, scratches) or mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) contact with infected saliva or tissues.  Rabies in humans can be prevented if rabies medication is received in a timely manner following an exposure.  You cannot tell if you have been exposed to rabies by how you feel.  Rabies is fatal after symptoms are present.  

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website: website http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html or contact the Florida Department of Health in Bay County at 850-872-4455.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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