On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, a sick cat was found roaming on Hillcrest Drive which is located off of Chincoteague Road across from Dream Roller Rink in Wattsville. Accomack County Animal Control promptly captured the sick cat. The cat was confined at the Eastern Shore Regional Animal Control Facility, where the cat’s health continued to rapidly decline, and the cat died. The 7 pound solid gray male cat was sent for rabies testing by the Accomack County Health Department. On Friday June 29, 2018 the state Rabies lab confirmed that the cat was positive for rabies.

If you, your family member or your pets had any contact with this cat, please contact the Health Department immediately.

This alert is a reminder that we must all keep a heightened sense of awareness regarding this deadly disease.

Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that is present in the saliva of infected animals. Rabies is spread when the virus enters a fresh open wound, or through exposure of a mucous membrane of the nose, eye, or mouth. Rabies is now endemic in our raccoon population with spillover into other species. High risk species include raccoons, foxes, skunks, cats, and bats.

The most important things citizens can do to protect themselves include:

-keep all pets vaccinated against rabies, be sure to keep vaccinations current

-keep your pets on your own property

– avoid contact with stray or unknown pets, and avoid contact with wildlife

-report all animal bites to your local health department at (757)787-5880 or the Sheriff’s