The Berks County Animal Rescue League announced Friday night that a cat that bit a Birdsboro resident on Tuesday had tested positive for rabies.
The cat, a medium-sized short-haired calico, was captured near East Main Street and North Water Street on Tuesday after the ARL received a call for help from Birdsboro Police.
“We immediately answered the patrol officer’s call and secured the cat,” said Hayden Carroll, a state-certified humanitarian company police officer and employed as an animal welfare officer. to the ARL, in Friday’s statement. âAt the moment, we know that this cat bit a resident, who has already been notified and received appropriate treatment. If anyone else has been bitten or scratched by an animal in this area, they should seek medical attention immediately.
The cat was impounded by the ARL at its shelter in Cumru Township and began showing suspicious symptoms on Wednesday, according to Jose Joel Delgado-Rivera, ARL’s communications manager. He said the results of the rabies tests were received on Friday afternoon.
Common symptoms of rabies in animals include general illness, swallowing problems, excessive drooling or saliva, an animal that bites everything, an animal that seems more tame than expected, an animal that has difficulty moving or may be paralyzed, or a bald mouse that’s on the ground, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.
The CDC explains that rabies is a neurological virus that infects the central nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing brain disease and death. The CDC says 90% of reported rabies cases are in wild animals, but any mammal can contract the deadly virus.
“The most important action to prevent rabies in dogs and cats is to make sure their rabies vaccine is up to date and to keep them away from unfamiliar animals, especially wildlife,” said Dr. Jason Banning, ARL Medical Director. “If an owner suspects their pet has been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, they should call animal control or their local police department to capture the animal and seek veterinary care immediately.”
The ARL noted that it is not the contracted animal control provider for Birdsboro.