Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: December 1, 2017
DOVER, DE (Dec. 1, 2017) - Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) is warning residents in Townsend developments on North Odessa Boulevard who may have come in contact with a feral kitten that was discovered to be rabid on Wednesday Nov. 29, 2017. The gray kitten bit a member of a family that found it and took it into their home. The kitten has been euthanized.
Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched or come in contact with this kitten's saliva or that of another feral animal in the area should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7.
Residents should take precautions against rabies by:
Since January 2017, DPH has confirmed rabies in six animals including three raccoons, two cats and one dog. Rabies in humans and animals cannot be cured once symptoms appear. If the animal is of unknown origin, or unavailable to be quarantined or tested, the Division of Public Health recommends that people receive postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment, a series of four vaccinations, as a precautionary measure.
Rabies is an infectious disease affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Infection can occur through the bite or scratch of an infected animal or if saliva from such an animal gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or an opening in the skin
Fortunately, rabies is also almost 100 percent preventable. DPH recommends that members of the public take the necessary steps to stay clear of exposure to rabies.
Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner. Vaccination of pets and livestock is a crucial factor in rabies prevention.
For more information on the Delaware Division of Public Health's rabies program visit: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/rabies.html or call 1-866-972-9705 or 302-744-4995. For more information on rabies visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.