Jennifer King, public information officer with the North Georgia Health District, said the stray black and white shorthaired female cat “aggressively scratched” the woman at the Cherokee South Apartments off Marietta Highway in Canton.
“After scratching the woman, the cat was immediately trapped and later died in its cage on Sept. 4,” King said in a release Sunday.
The cat’s remains were sent for rabies testing to the state laboratory by Cherokee County Environmental Health officials and positive results were reported Sept. 6, King said.
The woman was recommended to receive post-rabies exposure treatment and environmental health staff posted notices in English and Spanish throughout the local area in attempt to notify anyone else who may have come into contact with the animal.
“Health officials routinely warn the public against handling any unfamiliar animals, especially those displaying sickly or unusual behavior, and they urge residents to protect against rabies by maintaining rabies vaccinations in their pets,” King said.
This is the second report of a rabid cat in Canton this year. Seven people underwent treatment for rabies related to a rabid cat found near Starbucks at RiverStone Parkway in early March. Three additional cats were tested in relation to the original case but none were found to have rabies, North Georgia Health District officials said at the time.
Anyone who may have been exposed to the cat in the recent incident are urged to call Cherokee County Environmental Health at (770) 479-0444.
More information about rabies and its prevention can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.