Feral cat in Orange tests positive for rabies

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2022 3:02:37 PM
Modified: 9/15/2022 2:58:43 PM

ORANGE — A feral cat that was euthanized after exhibiting signs of rabies has tested positive for the disease.

North Quabbin Regional Animal Control notified the Orange Board of Health that the feline from a feral cat colony in the area of Ball, Kelton and Prospect streets was sent to the State Public Health Laboratory, where it tested positive, according to the Orange Board of Health.

Rabies can be spread to people and animals through the saliva of an infected animal via bite or scratch or if the saliva gets into an open wound or the eyes, nose or mouth. The health board states that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies is 100% preventable if an exposed person receives prompt and appropriate medical care. However, the disease can be fatal if rabies post-exposure care is not initiated in a timely manner.

The health board advises anyone who believes they may have been exposed to rabies to contact their health care provider. If your pet is bitten or scratched by another animal, try to determine the type of animal involved but do not touch the attacking animal and call your animal control officer. North Quabbin Regional Animal Control can be reached at 978-249-2494.

Also, use gloves and a hose to wash your pet’s wounds. Do not touch your pet with your bare hands, as there may be saliva from the rabid animal still on your pet, even if you don’t see a bite or wound, the Board of Health advises. Call your veterinarian to help you determine if the animal needs medical attention.

For more information on rabies prevention, contact the state Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at 617-983-6800 or visit the state Department of Public Health’s website at mass.gov/dph/rabies. You can also contact your local board of health.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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