Feral cat found in Frazer tests positive for rabies, fifth this year in Allegheny County
A feral cat found in Frazer has become the fifth animal to test positive for rabies in Allegheny County this year, the Allegheny County Health Department said.
The cat was captured near the 2300 block of Dellenbaugh Road and brought to one of the health department’s facilities.
In addition to the cat, the county has had three raccoons and a bat test positive this year for rabies, which is a virus transmitted by an animal bite or scratch.
Exposure to rabies is almost always fatal when left untreated, health department officials said.
Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Shannon Powers said the agency tracks rabies cases statewide, but only has records of reported cases, which may not accurately reflect how many there actually are.
“In rural areas, suspected cases are often not confirmed by testing and are likely to go unreported,” Powers said.
According to an unofficial tally for Allegheny County, 25 animals tested positive for rabies last year, including 12 raccoons, nine bats, two cats, a fox and a groundhog.
That was up from 15 animals testing positive in 2017, including seven raccoons, four bats, three cats and a skunk, the health department said. The year before that, 23 animals were diagnosed, including 12 bats, six raccoons, two cats, two skunks and a coyote.
According to the state, three animals tested positive for rabies in Armstrong County last year. Westmoreland County had 12 animals test positive. Butler County had four.
A precaution for Allegheny County residents was issued Wednesday. Officials urged people to keep a close eye on their pets and make sure their pets are up to date with vaccinations.
If any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, residents should immediately notify their local animal control service, police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission, officials said.
Anyone who is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to saliva from a stray or any other animal should immediately cleanse the contact area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-2243 to report the incident.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .