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Rabies Confirmed in Ill Cat Found on Las Palmas Drive

Humans or pets in contact with the deceased feline should get immediate medical care; residents are asked to look out for unusual behavior in other animals

Santa Barbara County Animal Services reported Tuesday that an ill cat found Oct. 23 in the 400 block of Las Palmas Drive in Santa Barbara has died and is now confirmed to have had the rabies virus.

Officials are asking that residents in the neighborhood be on the lookout for any unusual behavior in other animals, both domesticated and wild. The rabies virus is known to be endemic in bats in the area and can infect cats, dogs and humans.

Anyone who observes unusual behavior is asked to call Animal Services at 805.681.5285. Anyone with information about the owner of the cat, or residents concerned that they may have had exposure to the infected animal is asked to call Disease Control at 805.681.5280.

The cat was a domestic shorthair black female believed to be about a year old.

Characteristics of an infected animal include aggressive behavior, severe illness and foaming at the mouth. The virus is transmitted via the saliva of a rabid animal and people exposed to infected fluids, whether through an animal bite or other contact, need immediate medical care.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recommends that people exposed to infected fluids get a series of four vaccination shots to prevent the virus from causing illness.

Animal Services says rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs older than 4 months, as well as a current dog license. Rabies vaccinations are highly recommended for cats older than age 4 months.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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