Rabies found in feral cat colony in Morgantown, officials say

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 11:55 AM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Officials in Monongalia County say rabies has been found in a feral cat colony in Morgantown.

The Monongalia County Health Department says on Facebook the feral cat colony is located on Distributor Drive off of Green Bag Road.

According to the MCHD, about 20 felines were trapped by animal control and area businesses were alerted of the situation.

Officials say some people, including veterinary staff members, were exposed to a rabid cat on or around June 30. It was euthanized, and rabies was confirmed on Thursday.

The post says the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will be dropping oral rabies vaccine baits by airplane in late August in Monongalia County, and MCHD Environmental Health will distribute the baits by hand in early September.

West Virginia law requires all cats and dogs be vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies is a virus that is transmitted from a bite or scratch of an animal through saliva, the CDC says.

Anyone who has been attacked or bitten by an animal should wash the wound immediately and follow-up with a health care provider.

The CDC says rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease in humans.

This is the second confirmed case of rabies in Monongalia County in 2023. The other case occurred in a raccoon.

Click here for more information from the Monongalia County Health Department.