Lehigh Valley

Eight getting rabies vaccine after contact with cat

Case of rabies found in Northampton County

WILLIAMS TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Eight people at the Center for Animal Health and Welfare in Williams Township are being vaccinated for rabies after coming into contact with  a cat that had the disease at the shelter.

Acting shelter manager Dan Roman said the cat was brought in about two weeks ago.

A woman from Glendon found it in her yard, put it in a container and brought it to the shelter.

It was taken to Easton Animal Hospital, where it was determined to have wobbly leg syndrome.

The cat was returned to the shelter  and put into isolation to confirm it didn't have rabies, which Roman said is normal procedure.

After about a week in isolation, the animal was found dead. 

Testing on the dead animal came back positive for rabies.

All eight people who had contact with the cat at the shelter immediately were contacted. Some touched the cat, others were bit or scratched by it.

Those eight people were sent to the hospital immediately for rabies shots. They've been give two and a third will be administered soon.

The woman who brought in the cat and two staffers at Easton Animal Hospital also were contacted about the rabies confirmation, so they could be vaccinated.

Roman said no one from the public was in contact with the cat.

"They've done everything possible to contain the disease," said Roman. "The public does not have to worry -- other than the fact that the cat came from Glendon and it had rabies out in the open.

  "If you see an animal acting oddly, call health department and police. An animal with early stages of rabies may not show any symptoms. "

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