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Feral cat with rabies bites person in Fredericksburg
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Feral cat with rabies bites person in Fredericksburg

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The Rappahannock Area Health District has confirmed the presence of rabies in an area of Fredericksburg, according to a news release.

A cat believed to be part of a feral cat colony was collected from the 100 block of Longstreet Avenue on March 31. The feline, which had bitten a person, was confirmed positive for rabies Friday, the release stated. It is possible other cats in the colony could be exposed and infectious with rabies, health officials said.

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The person who was bitten is receiving rabies prevention vaccinations, the release stated.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It is preventable in animals through vaccinations, but is fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated.

Virginia requires pet owners of dogs and cats to maintain current rabies vaccinations for animals 4 months and older. In addition, people should not approach or touch wild animals or unknown domestic animals, and report any abnormal behavior involving these animals, the news release states. All animal bites and rabies exposures must be reported to the Fredericksburg Health Department at 540/899-4142.

—Staff reports

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