SAN ANGELO, TX – The little white kitten that was reported to have rabies on Monday afternoon has been euthanized.
As previously reported, on July 13, the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office alerted community members in the Harriett area about a possible rabies outbreak. Here is the original story: Sheriff's Office Warning Rabies Confirmed in Tom Green County
The following day the TGCSO sent another notice warning people who may have been possibly infected.
In the Harriett area, mainly Alma Jo Drive and Harriett Road near Alma Jo Drive between the dates of May 23 and July 10, 2020, if you or any one you know was in contact with a white kitten and was bitten or scratched by this kitten, you should seek medical attention. This kitten was in contact with a rabid skunk on May 23rd and was too young to be vaccinated so it contracted rabies. The kitten was taken to the vet on July 10th and determined that it might be rabid at which time it was euthanized and sent to the state for testing. Results came in yesterday and were positive. If you live in this area and you think you might have come in contact with this kitten, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you think your pets were in contact with the kitten and have not been vaccinated, you need to quarantine them for 90 days. If you have questions, contact your doctor or veterinarian.
According to the CDC cases of human rabies cases in the United States are rare, with only 1 to 3 cases reported annually. Twenty-five cases of human rabies have been reported in the United States in the past decade (2009-2018). Seven of these infections were acquired outside of the U.S. and its territories.
The number of human rabies deaths in the United States has been steadily declining since the 1970’s thanks to animal control and vaccination programs, successful outreach programs, public health capacity and laboratory diagnostics, and the availability of modern rabies biologics. Yet each year, hundreds of thousands of animals need to be placed under observation or be tested for rabies, and between 30,000 to 60,000 people need to receive rabies postexposure prophylaxis.
Once a rabies infection is established, there's no effective treatment. Though a small number of people have survived rabies, the disease usually causes death. For that reason, if you think you've been exposed to rabies, you must get a series of shots to prevent the infection from taking hold.