Rabid cat bites, scratches 3 people in Weld County

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A feral cat infected with rabies bit or scratched three people in southeast Weld County, according to health department officials.

One adult and two children are receiving preventative rabies treatments, the Department of Public Health and Environment said in a statement released Thursday.

Post-exposure treatment involves one dose of human rabies immune globulin and a series of four vaccinations.

Rabies causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and is nearly always fatal if it is not treated. Anyone who suspects they might have been exposed should call a doctor right away.

Officials urged people to make sure all domestic animals, including cats, dogs, horses and livestock are vaccinated against rabies.

“Even pets such as outdoor barn cats should be vaccinated,” said Mark Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department.

Officials are also warning people not to go near wild/feral animals.

“Rabies can infect many wild animals, including foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and bats,” officials said.

So far in 2016, three bats, one cat and one skunk have tested positive for rabies in Weld County.

Signs of rabies include increases in saliva and drooling; nocturnal animals being active during the daytime; slow or difficult movement; and aggressive behavior, such as a skunk attacking a dog

An interactive map identifies in Weld County.