A cat tested positive for rabies after an attack north of Toms Brook, the Lord Fairfax Health District announced on Friday.
The rabid feral cat was found Oct. 7 along Back Road (Route 623) near the intersection of Pontzer Road (Route 697) north of Toms Brook in Shenandoah County, according to a health district news release.
“The cat attacked a person without provocation,” the release says. “It was later euthanized and sent for testing, which revealed that it was sick with rabies.”
The Shenandoah County Health Department is alerting the community that anyone who received a bite or scratch or was otherwise exposed to the saliva from any stray cat near this location since Oct. 7 should immediately seek care at the nearest emergency department. Pets who may have interacted with the cat should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
The health district, which covers Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren, reminds residents to keep their pets and livestock updated on rabies vaccines and to avoid contact with wild and feral animals.
Rabies is 100% fatal once symptoms begin, but it can be prevented if treatment is begun shortly after exposure.
This is the 12th reported case of rabies in the county so far this year and at least the 26th so far for the region. Last year, there were 29 reported cases in the region, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Additional information on rabies is available at vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/rabies-control.
For more information or questions, call the Shenandoah County Health Department at 540-459-3733 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/lord-fairfax.