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Rabies Found in Northside Kitten

The RHHD said the stray kitten was picked up around 5th Avenue in Richmond’s Northside last week, and was dropped off care at the Richmond Animal Care and Control.

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The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are advising residents to use caution after kitten was recently found and confirmed to be positive for rabies.

The RHHD said the stray kitten was picked up around 5th Avenue in Richmond’s Northside last week, and was dropped off care at the Richmond Animal Care and Control.

Results from a rabies test came back positive, confirming that the kitten had rabies. Rabies is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system, and can be deadly. The virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite or by getting infected saliva in the eyes, mucous tissue, or an open wound.

RHHD said they are in contact with the 12 individuals who had contact with the kitten to determine if an exposure took place and advise possible medical follow-up.

According to Richmond Animal Care and Control, rabies testing is completed with brain tissue. The organization humanely euthanized the kitten in order to receive the diagnosis.

If you or your pet are attacked or bitten, the RHHD said to report it to the health department or animal control authorities, and if possible, safely restrain the animal so that it can be tested, or get a good description of the animal to provide to authorities.

RHHD recommendations to prevent future rabies exposures:

  • Don’t attract wild animals into your yard by leaving out pet food or uncontained garbage
  • Vaccinate all cats, dogs, ferrets, and livestock against rabies and keep their shots up to
  • date
  • Don’t allow pets to roam freely through the neighborhood; keep them on a leash when
  • walking them
  • Report stray animals to your local animal control agency

For more information on rabies and rabies prevention, visit the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts website.

If You Have Been Bitten:

Don’t panic…but don’t ignore the bite, either. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and lots of water. Washing thoroughly will greatly lessen the chance of infection. Give first aid as you would for any wound. If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least identify it before it runs away. Don’t try to pick the animal up. Call an animal control or law enforcement officer to come get it. It’s critically important that you notify your family doctor immediately and explain how you got the bite. Your doctor will want to know if the animal has been captured. If necessary, your doctor will give the anti-rabies treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service. Your doctor will also treat you for other possible infections that could be caused from the bite. Report the bite to the local health department.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.