ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) — Rabies has been confirmed in a stray kitten found in Oakland County.
Oakland County’s Health Division says the feline was found in the Rochester Hills/Troy area. Officials are urging residents to refrain from coming in contact with wild animals, which includes stray cats and dogs, skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats.
“Our natural instinct is to befriend an animal, pet one that seems friendly or help an injured animal, but stray and wild animals should be avoided,” Kathy Forzley, director of the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.
The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and it spreads through bites or scratches.
This is the first confirmed rabies incident — besides in bats — in Oakland County since 2012.
“Rabies is most often found in bats,” Forzley said. “The last animals, other than a bat, to have a confirmed case of rabies in Oakland County were skunks in 2012. This case is a reminder that rabies is present in our communities. People and their pets should be careful to avoid encounters with animals that they do not know.”
If you spot a wild animal that is acting strange near or inside your home, contact the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center at (248) 391-4102 for assistance. If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal then wash the affected area with soup and water, and seek medical attention immediately.
For more information on this rabies incident and other tips to prevent the virus, visit oakgov.com/health.