Newstead, NY (WBEN) Erie County Health officials say a cat discovered by children in Newstead tested positive for rabies.
“This is the first documented incident of a cat having rabies in Erie County since 2008” states Peter Tripi, ECDOH Senior Public Health Sanitarian. “One of our rabies sanitarians interviewed the nearest neighbors on Cedar Road to ensure no one else was exposed to this animal. We were unable to ascertain if the cat was a stray or someone’s pet. Erie County residents are advised to not feed stray cats and wild life so they are not attracted to their properties, as well as not to approach or handle these animals.”
“Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become excited and irritable, or, conversely appear particularly passive and lethargic. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted” says Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “I cannot stress how important it is to vaccinate your pet dogs and cats from rabies as that will also protect you and your family from this fatal disease."