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August 20, 2004
For immediate release

First Case of Rabies in a Cat in Prince Edward Island

Health and Social Services

A cat from the Mount Stewart area of PEI has tested positive for rabies. This is the first case of rabies in an animal other than three foxes which were found to have bat rabies in 1992. The cat showed aggressive behavior on August 10 and was put to sleep by a veterinarian on August 13, 2004.

The cat attacked four humans at or near the ownerís residence. Shots for rabies are being given to these people.

Humans or animals can get rabies from an infected animal. Rabies in humans can be prevented by giving shots, but is fatal if the illness does occur. Bites from any animal should always be washed with warm, soapy water as soon as possible after the bite occurs.

Pet owners should have their cats and dogs immunized against rabies. People are advised not to approach strange or wild animals, and to avoid contact with an animal that is behaving in an aggressive or unusual manner.

An Environmental Health Officer is visiting the neighborhood on Saturday, August 21 to speak to residents about possible exposure and to distribute notices.

If any person in Mount Stewart area was attacked or bitten by a grey striped cat between August 1 and August 13, 2004, Public Health should be notified at 626-8608 over the weekend. If an animal shows unusual behavior, the owner should consult with a veterinarian.

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Media Contact: Sara Underwood
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