Kitten adopted from Wake County shelter had rabies
Posted September 13, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County health officials said Tuesday that a cat adopted from the county animal shelter on Beacon Lake Drive in Raleigh has tested positive for rabies.
The gray tabby kitten, named Silverbell, was in Cat Room A at the Wake County Animal Center between 2 and 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 before being adopted. Anyone who may have touched the animal during that time is asked to call the county's communicable disease hotline at 919-250-4462.
Rabies is most commonly transmitted from animals to humans through a bite, but people can in some cases get the disease from contact with an infected animal's saliva.
Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford said there is no reason to believe that any other animals at the shelter were exposed to the disease. She added that Silverbell was only at the shelter a short time and she's unsure how many people had physical contact with the cat.
"We don't know how many people exactly would have passed through. We do not believe many people at all," she said. "There could have been no one."
The kitten was brought to the shelter as a stray and was adopted a couple hours later. Once Silverbell was taken to its adoptive home, it began acting aggressively, Ledford said. The animal died a short time later and subsequently tested positive for rabies.
Everyone in the household where the kitten lived is being treated for the disease, Ledford said. The people who work at the shelter take pre-vaccines regularly and are given booster shots when rabies exposure is possible, she said.