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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

A Cat in Georgia Exposes People and Pets to Rabies

By December 9, 2012

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Parents often worry about rabies if their child is bitten by a dog, but thanks to widespread vaccination of dogs, that isn't a common way to get rabies in the United States any more.

While still rare, it is much more common for children to be exposed to rabies after having contact with a wild animal, such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, fox, or coyote.

A recent case of a feral cat in Savannah, Georgia testing positive for rabies, but not before exposing 10 people and two dogs to the virus, is a good reminder that you can also get rabies from cats. The cat, which was acting aggressive, and bit one person by a local lake.

Keep in mind that other mammals, including ferrets, can also transmit rabies. It is only animals like squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, mice, other small rodents, rabbits, and hares that don't transmit rabies.

So what do you do if your child is bitten by a cat? As with other animal bites, contact your pediatrician and your local animal control and/or health department for help and advice. In addition to rabies shots, your child may also need a tetanus vaccine and antibiotics to prevent the cat bite wound from getting infected.

Most importantly, in addition to vaccinating your pets, you can help prevent rabies by teaching your kids to stay away from stray dogs and cats and to not touch any wild animals, whether they are dead or alive.

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December 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm
(1) Woodsman says:

Add opossum to the list of animals that can’t contract nor transmit rabies.

Important note: I had a serious cat-infestation on my lands in the past, eventually solved by having to shoot and bury every last one of hundreds of them. None of the local wildlife predators would use them for food. One winter I tried one last time at feeding one of the shot-dead cats to the last few starving opossum.Those opossum promptly died from some disease in that cat-meat. Alarming — in that opossum, due to their cooler body temperatures, cannot contract nor transmit many common diseases, not even rabies. They are one of the most disease-free animals in N. America. Yet … something in that cat-meat was able to kill them all. Cats truly are complete and total wastes of flesh. They can’t even be used to feed wild animals safely. Leaving any of these invasive-species cats out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than intentionally poisoning your native wildlife to death.

December 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm
(2) Woodsman says:

You can thank your local outdoor-cat-feeders for things like this.

Stray-Cat Feeders TRAIN Feral Cats To Attack Humans

These cat-lovers always like to claim that feral cats run away from humans, and therefore aren’t the cause of all the thousands of new rabies cases.

Google for: feral cat attack rabies

Don’t be surprised at the numbers of search-hits you get, nor the thousands of horrendous stories that go with them. The numbers of rabies cases or required rabies shots caused by free-roaming cats have been exponentially growing as fast as the cats breed.

These stray-cat feeders are TRAINING these disease-infested cats to approach humans for food. And what happens when that child (or foolish adult) doesn’t have food and reaches down to “pet the cute kitty” or pick it up to try to take it home? The cat lashes out and bites or scratches the hand that has no food for them. That means MANDATORY $1000+ painful rabies shots for the child (or any adult that is just as ignorant and naive). Paid for out of their OWN pockets — because NOT ONE of these cat-feeders carries one penny of liability insurance for the DEADLY danger they bring to their communities.

These are just the diseases they’ve been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, Tularemia, and Rat-Bite Fever can now also be added to that list.

December 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(3) Cassa says:

Wow, Woodsman; a bit harsh, perhaps?
Actually plenty of animals eat cats, including coyotes, racoons, and large birds of prey.
Wheat and grain farmers love their barn cats; lots of grain=lots of mice, and cats help keep down the mice population, helping to save the wheat, both in the fields and in storage.
Given that you obviously weren’t feeding those 100+ cats, I wonder why they were all hanging around in such a large group.A really good food source perhaps?
If you become over-run with mice in the near future, you may well figure out that those cats had been very useful to you.
By the way, you may want to check into hanta virus; carried by mice, often deadly, spread through the air and found in mice droppings…

December 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm
(4) Woodsman says:

Surprisingly, I had an indoor rodent problem start to show up as the cats started to grow in numbers. There were nothing but cats and rodents around my home. They reached a happy predator/prey balance, and all other NATIVE wildlife was ran-off or starved to death by these invasive species cats. I come to find out now that cats’ infect rodents with their Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which causes rodents to lose all fear of cats and are actually attracted to cat urine. (Google for: parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host ) The cats using their parasite to attract a food source right to them, and this cats’ parasite using the cats to speed up its strange 2-stage life-cycle. Your cats are actually attracting Hanta virus and plague infected rodents right to them and right to your home. (Yes, people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA.) After I shot and buried every last cat the rodent problem disappeared. (A phenomenon that many others have also reported after getting rid of every last cat on their lands.)

I now have my owls back again after not seeing them for 15 years, one so tame it sits on a branch 10 feet from my door most days; hawks are soaring over my trees again; and some Gray Fox, one of the most beneficial native animals anyone can hope to have, made a den near my home last year. I’m starting to see beneficial snakes again this year, for the first time in 17 years. These native animals are MUCH better at rodent patrol and they aren’t attracting more rodents right to where they live, like cats do. Plus they aren’t senselessly and wastefully annihilating everything that moves for play-toys, like cats always do 24/7.

December 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm
(5) Woodsman says:

You might also enjoy knowing …

If you advocate for cats as rodent-control on farms and ranches you’ve already doomed them to being destroyed by drowning or shooting when it becomes a financial liability more than any asset. Ranchers and farmers worldwide are fully aware that cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasite can cause the very same birth defects (hydrocephaly and microcephaly), still-births, and miscarriages in their livestock and important wildlife as it can in pregnant women. Consequently, this is also how this cats’ brain-parasite gets into your meats and onto your dinner-tables, from herbivores ingesting this cat-parasites’ oocysts in the soils, transferred to the plants and grains that they eat. Not even washing your hands in bleach will destroy this parasites’ oocysts if you have contracted it from your garden or yard that a cat has defecated in.

This is why any cats are ROUTINELY destroyed around gestating livestock and wildlife management areas in the most efficient, humane, and least expensive method available. Common rural practice everywhere. The risk of financial loss from dead livestock and important native wildlife from an invasive species cat is far too great to do otherwise. This cats’ parasite is now even killing off rare marine mammals along all coastal regions from run-off containing this cat-parasites’ oocysts.

The next time you bite into that whole-grain veggie-muffin or McBurger, you need to just envision biting down on a shot-dead or drowned kitten or cat. For that’s precisely how that food supply got to your mouth. If you want to blame someone for the drowning and shooting of cats, you need to prosecute yourself — every time you eat.

As to why native predators cannot keep these man-made invasive cat species populations in-check, and why cats can completely destroy the native food-chain in every ecosystem, read this post

December 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm
(6) Cassa says:

I’m guessing you don’t live in farm country.
I do: thats why I know what eats cats out here; and why farmers like barn cats.
Coyotes are good for killing mice in the fields too; unfortunately they also like to snack on sheep and newborn calves, so they are less popular.
They are still better than out of control domestic dogs though; they will tear apart lots of animals in a herd just for the fun of it. Coyotes just kill to eat. Not all dogs are dangerous to farm animals though;
I adore my blue heeler and she is great at herding sheep.
There are lots of things farmers worry about causing abortions in their sheep and cows; certain types of grasses, too much clover, too much stress, even some types of gmo grain; cats aren’t one of them.

The houses with farm cats around here don’t have mice problems; and locally cats are advertised as being “good mousers”
Eagles certainly eat cats; its not the other way around.Your stories just don’t make much sense to me.

December 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm
(7) Woodsman says:

Cassa, it sounds like you live in a city and love pretending to live an idyllic life in the country, with nothing more than what you’ve read on the net or those Disney cartoons for your sole education.

You might want to check on why your lambs die, miscarry, or are stillborn. Toxoplasmosis is the #1 threat to sheep offspring. Vets in the country will advise that the first thing anyone does if their sheep are not producing properly is to kill-off and sanitarily dispose of every last cat in the area.

Make up some more stories about your pretend life, this is fun watching you make a fool of yourself.

Another definitive clue that you are making up everything. Nobody who lives in the country has a problem with stray dogs either. And if you actually lived in the country you’d know why.

It is mandatory by law in nearly every, if not every, state of the USA to shoot any dog on sight that is seen harassing wildlife. And a property owner has EVERY RIGHT to destroy ANY animal that is threatening the well-being, safety, and health of their own family and animals. (Minus those species on endangered or threatened species lists or under protection of MBTA (Migratory Bird Treaty Act), though variances can still be given should there be sufficient problem, but this requires further study by authorities.) This is even true in most densely populated cities and why 700-1200 fps air-rifles and pointed vermin-pellets are often suggested as the solution because of firearm laws in cities.

This is why feral dog-packs are a rarity in rural areas. They are SHOT before things ever get that bad. Unfortunately, people moving to the country arenít aware of this so they refuse to do their civic and moral duty by destroying that dog or cat that is harming other animals. I keep a paintball-gun loaded with red-pellets for any stray dogs. Stings enough to teach a teachable dog, and leaves a nice signal on their coat. The first time they get the paintball gun (and MAYBE a 2nd time too if they seem to be a well-mannered dog). If that doesnít teach the owner and alert them to what could have REALLY happened to their dog, then out comes the rifle next time. Cats arenít so easily forgiven, because from past experience I know that warning a cat-owner makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. They really could care less about their outdoor cats. Proved time and time and time again and again — with each and every one of their hundreds of cats that I had to shoot and bury. So out comes the rifle on the first sighting of a cat instead of the paintball-gun. Nobody has the time to put up with a cat-lover’s BS nonsense, deceptions, and lies. I most certainly learned that, the hard way.

People in rural areas who actually care about their animals keep them confined and supervised, or they lose them ó permanently . No warning, their animal just fails to return home one day and nobody knows what happened to it. You can tell who actually loves their animals in rural areas — their animals are still alive. Itís the law of the land.

December 13, 2012 at 11:57 am
(8) Cassa says:

Hi Woodsman;
Peopel use donkey, Llamas, and Great Pyrenees as common guard animals for sheep; mainly because of coyote and domestic dog attacks.
Certainly people should not dump or let their animals run loose,and such an animal probably won’t survive long. ( By the way,I’m in favor of spray/neutering and giving rabies shots to both dogs and cats.)
So quick quiz
you have three ewes;a Suffolk,a Shetland and a Jacob sheep.They look very different in the field; how can you tell them apart/ Bonus; whats particularly distinctive about the Jacob?
Which ewe is likely to have the most trouble giving birth and why?
Shetland Ram and Jacob ewe have a lamb;what color will it likely be?
( Hint ;most Jacob crosses are this color)
You find a newborn lamb in the stall;its alive, but it isn’t able to stand, Mom is ignoring it, and you put your finger in its mouth and it feels cold. You want to save it ; what are you going to do next?
And what shot are you likely to give it? If the shot fixes it, what was the problem with Moms diet?
Your hen swallows a sharp stone.What do you do next?
(ok, trick question, but do you know why?)
You have a choice between two goats from good dairy lines; a toggenberg and a nubian.You want milk for cereal and general household use; which do you choose?
What is the difference between dry and wet cob, and which one will effect the taste of goats milk , and in what way?
Bonus;what do you need to do when pasteurizing milk to reduce the unpleasant “cooked ‘ taste?
You horse has just been put in new lush spring pasture, and it starts limping.What is a likely cause , and is its next meal more likely to be be alfalfa or grass hay?
Some of this is fairly specialized knowledge, some is fairly common rural knowledge..
I doubt someone “fantasizing” about rural life would even know to ask the questions.

I’ll answer any you don’t know.
By the way, I also like wildlife; thats one thing we do agree on./

December 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm
(9) Cassa says:

By the way; I should clarify re the rabies vaccine; we previously lived where it wasn’t required for dogs. Vaccinated three of them; one died very soon after, the other died within the year.Third dog was fine.Later we talked to a sled dog owner, who said she never vaccinated her huskies/ malamutes because of the high reaction/death rate.The first one that died was a malamute.
Good reminder for me. (God talks to us sometimes in mysterious ways…sorry won’t get into religion here..)
The paint ball idea seems very sensible.
What livestock do you have?

December 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm
(10) Woodsman says:

It will be nice to see the day that every livestock owner has to destroy every cat on their property to stop their cats from infecting all their meat and dairy products with Toxoplasma gondii parasites to feed to humans.

That day is probably not too far away now that they’ve discovered all the links of T. gondii to schizophrenia, autism, brain-cancers, increased suicide rates, higher accident rates, etc. etc.

You don’t care much about those that you infect with cats’ deadly parasites, do you.

Why didn’t I answer any of your questions? They have NOTHING to do with free roaming cats and all the diseases they spread and all the destruction they do to all our native habitats and native wildlife.

Red-herring seems to be a popular diet amongst cat-lovers online.

December 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm
(11) cassa says:

Its called pasteurization…and cooking meat thoroughly..
The impression I’m getting is you don’t know much about farm life, you hate cats and are obsessed with killing them, and you enjoy describing how you kill them online.
You’re right; you don’t really need me in the conversation for that.So , as you were then..

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