BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. – The Preston County Health Department announced on its Facebook page that there has been a confirmed case of rabies in a cat in the Bruceton Mills area of Preston County.
This announcement comes less than a week after the Monongalia County Health Department confirmed that a rabid cat attacked two Suncrest residents.
According to the Preston County Health Department, the cat which tested positive for rabies was owned by a family in the Bruceton Mills area and had been attacked by a skunk a few weeks prior.
The kitten was not vaccinated against rabies because it was too young to receive the shot, and about two weeks after the fight with the skunk, it began biting and scratching its owners, according to the health department.
Health department officials are under the assumption that the skunk transferred the disease to the kitten, but since they haven’t found the skunk, they are unable to confirm the theory.
The Preston County Health Department is warning residents to not approach or handle wild animals and to avoid animals that are not acting as they normally would, such as nocturnal animals that are seen during daylight hours.
The Preston County Health Department is advising any person who is bitten or attacked by an animal to wash the wound immediately and follow up with their health-care provider for evaluation.