Lula and surrounding areas are still on alert after a cat that tested positive for rabies was found to have bitten five people, perhaps more. “I was out working on my yard and the cat came on my property, it just came directly on the property,” Lula resident Mere Barbee said. “It bit me and then went across the road and bit my neighbors.” Barbee said that the cat continually tried to lunge at her every time she tried to get near it. She was worried about catching the cat because the school was only six blocks away. “You know people’s children could handle the cat and then get scratched and not even be aware of it,” Barbee said. “That’s my main concern.” The Georgia Public Health Lab, Virology Section in Decatur determined the cat tested positive for rabies, and alerted Hall County Animal Control on Monday. The five reported people infected by the animal include three senior citizens, one woman and a 10-year-old boy. Barbee and her neighbors both started treatment Tuesday. The rabies vaccine consists of four shots. Barbee said each visit so far has taken her two hours from the time she checks in until she leaves. Animal Control officers assessed the situation, telling Barbee they’d return in a few weeks with a cage. Two more people were bitten before the animal was caught. Lula city officials distributed fliers in the area alerting residents of the potential danger. Positive alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid cat was located. Anyone who sees an animal acting abnormally in the area is asked to contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830 or Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812 during nonworking hours. Animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their pets and livestock for rabies. Vaccines are available for $10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the Hall County Animal Shelter at 1688 Barber Road in Gainesville and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia at 845 W. Ridge Road in Gainesville.
The name of Hazard: Rabies (cat to human)
Posted:2015-01-17 05:34:38 [UTC]