Saturday, Dec. 22 a young adult domestic short-hair grey tiger cat bit a woman near the Framingham Centre Common and Vernon Street area.
Yesterday, Dec. 27, that cat was tested and confirmed to have rabies, said Framingham Health Director Ethan Mascoop.
The woman bitten is now being treated, he added.
This is the first case of rabies in a cat in Framingham in 20 years.
The Framingham Board of Health is asking people who may have come into physical contact with a cat in the Vernon Street/Town Common area between Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 to contact them. Anyone
who has been bitten or scratched by the cat is requested to contact their health care provider too.
This confirmed cat with rabies serves as a reminder that although the risk of exposure to rabies is low, animals with rabies exist in the Framingham area, said a press release from the Framingham Board of Health.
Rabies is a fatal disease that is spread when an animal with rabies bites or comes in very close contact with another animal or person. The rabies virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals. Rarely, infected animals can also spread rabies if their saliva gets into a scratch or other wound or the eyes, nose or mouth of another person or animal. If a person knows that he or she has been exposed to rabies, disease can be prevented in people by administering vaccine and antibodies promptly. There have not been documented cases of human-to-human spread of rabies except in a few cases involving organ transplants.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends if you are bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound with soap and water for 10 minutes and call your health care provider to determine if you need to be treated for a rabies exposure. The Framingham Animal Control Officer may be able to help identify the animal for either testing or quarantine.