Health Dept. confirms rabies found in Mt. Oliver cat
December 12, 2017
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) has confirmed that a dead cat brought to one of its facilities has tested positive for rabies.
The cat was found on Monday, Dec. 11, on Otillia Street, in the vicinity between Walde Street and McManus Street, in Mount Oliver.
The area where the cat was found is close to Phillip Murray Playground. As a precautionary measure, the notification was also communicated to staff, students and parents at Arlington Pre K-8, a Pittsburgh Public School, which is in the vicinity where the cat was found.
“All residents should avoid any kind of contact with stray animals, especially those in the Mount Oliver area where the cat was found,” said Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “If any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, residents should notify their local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately.”
Rabies is a virus transmitted by an animal bite or scratch, and exposures due to a bite or scratch are almost always fatal when left untreated. In this specific case, the animal was not foaming at the mouth, as is typically perceived as a sign of rabies, but was instead lethargic and appears as sickly, weak and hissing when approached.
All county residents should always avoid stray animals and wildlife, even if they appear healthy, to avoid exposure to rabies. Residents should also have their pets vaccinated, and watch for unusual behavior.
Any individual who is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to saliva from a stray or any other animal, should immediately cleanse the contact area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the Allegheny County Health Department, 412-687-2243, to report the incident.
So far in 2017, a total of 15 rabid animals have been reported in Allegheny County: seven raccoons, five bats, two cats and one skunk.