A cat that bit a man and a child subsequently tested positive for rabies, Sully police stated. The stray cat bit a 25-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl in Chantilly on Friday.
It was euthanized and then tested, police said. The cat, brown with black vertical stripes and yellow eyes, was behaving strangely.
Rabies can be transferred through bites, scratches or contact with the saliva of rabid animals. Rabies is not transmitted by petting, or contact with blood, urine, or feces. Although rabies is a very serious illness, vaccinations given after a bite or other exposure can effectively prevent the disease, police stated.
If you, someone in your family, or one of your pets has had contact with a cat that fits this description within the last three weeks, you’re asked to contact the Fairfax County Animal Services Division at 703-691-2131.
The cat also reportedly has kittens. Residents are advised not to handle any stray kittens they may encounter and instead report the to animal services at the same number.
Animal Control Officers will be in the Chantilly area Friday evening distributing rabies information to residents.
The Fairfax County Health Department recommends that residents explain to their children to avoid unfamiliar animals, keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date on their own pets and watch their pets to ensure they don’t get in contact with rabid animals.