Case of Rabies confirmed in Elkins area

By  | 

ELKINS, W. Va. (WDTV) Health officials are sending a warning to residents in Elkins. They say an orange cat that was found on Weese Street was tested positive with rabies.

"It was not a personal cat, it was a come and go cat," said Jordan Hall, Sanitarian for the Randolph County Health Department.

While this case is rare, health officials don't want other animals and humans to be at risk.

"A lot of those cats are out on the wilderness nine times out of 10 are around more wildlife than there is," he said.

That means avoiding stray or unfamiliar animals like bats, raccoons, foxes, which are known to roam the area.

"It's not typically what you see but it can happen, it can happen tomorrow," he said.

Since the incident was reported over the weekend, the Randolph County Animal Warden has been notifying residents in that area to avoid any stray animal, and pet owners to vaccinate their animals or they will be impounded because a case of rabies.

"This is a serious neurodisease," said Bonnie Woodrum, Infectious Disease Nurse for the Randolph County Health Department.

So how can one detect if animal carries this disease?

"Foaming at the mouth, this poor cat was foaming on the mouth and the eyes and acting erratic, acting aggressive, and it doesn't take long to kill it," said Woodrum.

This happens through contact with the saliva through mucus membranes or an open wound.

Click on the video above to watch the full story.