SuperTalk Mississippi

UPDATE: Mississippi Cat Found With Rabies, Got From Bat

JACKSON, Miss. – Rabies found in a black-and-white is said to have come from a bat. The state Heath Department confirmed Friday.

According to deputy state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, bats with rabies are a normal occurrence in the state and that people should try to avoid touching them.

On August 19th, MSDH confirmed the first rabies case in a land animal, in Mississippi, since 1961. The case was identified in Starkville.

Exposures to the rabid cat were reported in downtown Starkville and in a remote area in the general vicinity of developed portions of the Thad Cochran Research Park near the campus of Mississippi State University (MSU)

Health officials urge anyone who may have been bitten or scratched by a feral (wild) cat matching this description in either of these areas within the past 10 days to immediately contact their primary healthcare provider and the MSDH Office of Epidemiology at 601-576-7725.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal or through the contamination of a fresh wound with saliva from an infected animal.

Mississippians can help protect themselves against rabies by taking the following precautions:

  • Do not handle or touch live or dead feral animals, animals you do not know, or wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes and coyotes that can carry rabies.
  • If you see an animal acting strangely, contact your local Animal Control officials.
  • Vaccinate animals when your dog or cat has reached 3 months of age, one year later, and every three years thereafter (using a vaccine approved with 3 year immunity), as required by state law.


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