WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A cat in Platteville tested positive for rabies after biting a man who was working on a backyard fence.
The cat was tested after the incident on September 26.
Health official are concerned because the rabid cat was found near Platteville Elementary School.
“People need to remember to not touch or pet wild animals and to stay away from any animal that appears sick” says Trevor Jiricek, Weld County environmental health director.
An off-duty police officer helped identify and shoot the cat after it bit the man. Tests Tuesday on the dead cat confirmed rabies.
The health department posted rabies advisory signs in the area as well as warning the school.
Signs of Rabies
Signs of rabies include increases in saliva and drooling, nocturnal animals seen out during the daytime, and slow or difficult movement. Other signs may be aggressive behavior, such as a cat attacking and biting a man. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Rabies causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and is nearly always fatal. It is transmitted in saliva through the bite of an infected animal.
The virus can also be transmitted in saliva to an open cut, scratch or wound. If a person suspects they have been exposed to rabies, they should contact their medical provider immediately. Effective vaccination treatment is available to prevent rabies if started before symptoms appear.
To prevent exposure to rabies:
- Do not feed, touch or handle wild animals and be cautious of stray dogs and cats
- Have dogs, cats, horses, and livestock vaccinated regularly by a licensed veterinarian
- Spay or neuter pets to reduce the number of unwanted or stray animals in the neighborhood