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DHSS Press Release



Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: Jill.Fredel@delaware.gov

DPH Media Contact:
Mary Fenimore
Email: DPHMedia@Delaware.gov

Date: June 29, 2022
DHSS-6-2022





STRAY CAT IN SMYRNA TESTS POSITIVE FOR RABIES


DOVER (June 29, 2022) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Kent County residents who live or spend time near the area of Smyrna Landing Road in Smyrna that a positive case of rabies in a stray cat has been reported. Two individuals were potentially exposed to the stray cat in the residential neighborhood. The cat was tested for rabies, which returned positive results on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. The exposed individuals have been contacted and advised to begin post-exposure prophylaxis treatment (PEP).

Since Jan. 1, 2022, DPH has performed rabies tests on 118 animals, eight of which were confirmed to be rabid, which includes two raccoons, three foxes and three cats including this positive case. DPH only announces those rabies cases for which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with additional humans or pets.

In 2021, DPH performed rabies tests on 188 animals, nineteen of which were confirmed to be rabid, which includes one dog, one deer, one fox, one cow, two skunks, three cats, four raccoons and six bats.

Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched or have encountered a cat in this area should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7. Anyone in the area who thinks a cat may have bitten their pet should call their private veterinarian to have their pet examined and treated, and the exposure reported to the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Rabies is a preventable disease. DPH recommends that individuals take the following steps to prevent rabies exposure:

If You Encounter an Animal Behaving Aggressively:

If You Encounter a Sick or Injured Animal:

For more information on the DPH rabies program, visit 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 www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit 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.



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.





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