County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2019

Feral cat tests positive for rabies in Millstone
Health Department seeks anyone who may have come in contact

MILLSTONE, NJ – After the report of a Millstone resident being attacked and scratched by a feral cat that was caught and tested positive for rabies, Monmouth County Health Department is urging anyone that may have come in contact with the cat to seek medical attention.

The exposed resident, who will be seeking post-exposure prophylaxis, reported that the feral cat was seen recently wandering the neighborhood. The cat was described by animal control as a large, black and white domestic short hair, cat with black markings on its face.

Any residents in the vicinity of Fern Drive, who may have had physical contact with a black and white feral cat in that vicinity within the last 10 days, should contact the Monmouth County Health Department at 732-431-7456 and seek the advice of their medical provider immediately.

According to the CDC, rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the CDC each year from New Jersey occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks and bats.

The CDC describes that the presence of rabies in all wildlife may be indicated by unprovoked aggression, impaired movement, paralysis, lack of coordination, unusually friendly behavior and/or disorientation.

CDC explains that the rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.

For more information, call the Monmouth County Health Department at 732-431-7456.

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