Rabies alert issued for Swissvale area
A Swissvale woman is receiving treatment for rabies because a cat that bit her tested positive for the disease, the Allegheny County Health Department reported on Thursday.
The health department is asking anyone who was bitten or scratched by a gray cat around the 7300 block of Denniston Avenue in Swissvale from Nov. 16-26 to call the agency at 412-687-ACHD.
“We're encouraging anyone else who may have been bitten or scratched by this cat to come forward so they can be evaluated and treated if necessary,” said Dr. Ron Voorhees, acting health director.
Likely a stray, the cat was hit by a car on Monday and went to a home nearby, where a woman tried to help it and was bitten, said health department spokesman Guillermo Cole.
“The cat went onto the porch, and she tried to be a Good Samaritan. She is being treated and is not expected to get rabies,” Cole said.
The animal is the first rabid cat reported in the county this year. It is the second case of human contact with a rabid animal in the county in 2012; a rabid bat bit a person in Verona in July. This year, officials said they confirmed 16 reports of rabid animals. Besides the cat, there were eight raccoons and seven bats.
Last year, 18 animals, including three cats, tested positive for rabies in the county.
Rabies exposure typically occurs through a break in the skin that comes in contact with an infected animal's saliva. The disease almost always is fatal if untreated.
People should avoid contact with all stray dogs and cats, health officials said.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.