From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — A kitten that was taken to Allegany High School on May 20 has tested positive for rabies, according to the Allegany County Health Department.
Anyone who had direct physical contact with the kitten is asked to call the health department at 301-759-5125.
The gray, black and tan kitten was 2 to 3 weeks old when it was taken to the school from approximately 8 to 10:45 a.m. during an advanced placement government class. This timeframe corresponds with first through third periods of the school day.
The kitten was confirmed to be rabid Tuesday, following a period of sickness.
Rabies can only be transmitted during the final stage of the disease, approximately 10 days before the death of the animal. The virus is transmitted through the saliva of the infected animal, usually through a bite or a scratch.
The health department reminds residents to avoid animals that show behavior contradictory to their normal patterns. This applies to both wild animals and domesticated animals that exhibit unusual behavior. A stray or wild animal that seems to be in good health can be sick but not exhibiting symptoms at the time of exposure.
Rabies vaccinations are a must for dogs and cats. Not only is it the law, but it could save owners from having to euthanize a pet or place it in a six-month strict isolation from human contact. For more information, go to www.alleganyhealthdept.com/envhealth/rabies.htm or call 301-759-5040.