Animal Rights

Feral Cats May have Caused Human Rabies in California

| by Denise A Justin

"Feral unvaccinated cats may be behind a rabies infection that sent a Willow Creek resident to the hospital two weeks ago, according to local health officials.  But health officials also say that they may never know how exactly the victim contracted the disease," according to the Times-Standard.

A woman with a confirmed case of rabies in Northern California is reported to be in stable condition and improving after two weeks of hospitalization.  Jessica Cejnar of TheTimes-Standard (May 21) reports, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the case was a rabies infection on May 6. It is thought to be the first-ever confirmed case of human rabies in Humboldt County, according to health officials.

The victim, a resident of Willow Creek, is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center, and medical personnel and family members who came in contact with her are receiving vaccinations against the disease as a precautionary measure, according to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services.  "Officials also vaccinated two other individuals who were at risk from animal bites," reports The Times-Standard.Feral cats may be the primary source of the disease, but officials are also investigating other wild and domestic animals for signs of rabies, said county health officer Ann Lindsay, according to the article.