The cat found in Mayo officers say tested positive for rabies. (Spartanburg Co. Animal Control)
COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -
A stray cat found in Chesnee has tested positive for rabies, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
DHEC officials said the cat was found in Mayo, making it the second confirmed rabid animal found in the county.
Lt. James Nelson with Spartanburg County said his department picked up the rabid cat on April 22 after the young feline had latched onto a teenage victim.
An on-call animal control officer received a call that a teenager had returned home from the movies, and as they pulled into the garage and opened the door of the car, a cat jumped into the car and latched onto the teen's leg, Nelson said.
Once the cat was taken to animal control, she continued to act strangely before it was determined she had rabies.
The victim told FOX Carolina that after finally getting the cat off of her pants, the cat then charged and she was barely able to get inside before she was bit again. The victim has gone through rabies treatments and is doing fine.
Spartanburg County residents are urged to vaccinate their pets against rabies and avoid stray animals. State law requires that all pets be vaccinated.
"If you think you have been exposed to the rabies virus through a bite, scratch or the saliva of a possibly infected animal, immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water," said Sue Ferguson of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health. "Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC."
Ferguson said about 275 South Carolinians are advised to undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year. She said wild animals carry the disease most often, but domestic pets can contract rabies as well.
There were five rabid animals confirmed in the county in 2011. So far in 2012, 43 cases of rabid animals have been confirmed statewide.
For more information on rabies, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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