State Veterinarian Statement on Torrington Cat Infected with Rabies
CT DoAg urges owners to vaccinate their pets and livestock against rabies
HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s (CT DoAg) State Veterinarian Jane Lewis, DVM, MSFS, DACVPM, released the following statement due to an unvaccinated young cat becoming infected with rabies in Litchfield County. No human exposure was reported.
“Connecticut is endemic for wildlife rabies – we know the virus is present,” said Dr. Lewis. “As we progress into Spring and the warmer weather, wildlife will become more active increasing the likelihood of interactions with the public and pets. Rabies vaccination should not be delayed, especially in situations where a pet has never been vaccinated or when a wildlife exposure has occurred, and a booster vaccination is needed as part of the post-exposure treatment.”
The approximately eight-month-old female cat was an outdoor cat and shared food and water with other outdoor cats and wildlife. Rabies is a viral disease most commonly transmitted by a rabid animal bite. In 2022, there were 15 rabid animals, not including this case, detected in Connecticut through August 31. The cases included four bats, one fox, six raccoons, and four skunks that were found across five counties in Connecticut.
Rabies vaccination is mandated by State statute to protect the public and other animals from exposure to rabies. Even if an animal is kept indoors, keeping their vaccination against the virus up-to-date serves as an important barrier if they are ever exposed to a wild or stray animal that could be carrying the disease. Please contact your veterinarian for more information about rabies vaccination or to schedule an appointment.
In Connecticut, domestic animal bites to people or other domestic animals are reportable to the local animal control officer by the victim or animal owner.
For questions concerning human exposure to animals with confirmed or suspected rabies or rabies prophylaxis contact the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Emerging Infections Program at 860-509-7994 or your local health department.
For questions concerning livestock and domestic animals exposed to rabies contact the Department of Agriculture, Animal Control Division or the State Veterinarian at 860-713-2505 or 860-713-2506.
For more information on rabies, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/Regulatory/Regulatory/Rabies-Manual.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Contact: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323, Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov http://www.ctgrown.gov