WACO (October 17, 2013)--A Waco man who was bitten on the finger by a rabid kitten earlier in the week continues to undergo rabies treatment, authorities said Thursday.
City officials issued an alert earlier that said the kitten’s whereabouts were unknown, but police said Thursday the man found the kitten after it had been hit by a car near the intersection of North 19th Street and Park Lake Drive and picked it up to get it treated for its injuries.
The kitten bit the man on the finger, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
As the man was taking the kitten to a veterinarian, he encountered a Waco police Animal Control Officer and explained what had happened.
The officer took the kitten and directed the man to seek medical attention, Swanton said.
The kitten eventually died from its injuries and was sent to a laboratory for rabies testing, the results of which were positive, Swanton said.
Police interviewed several other people who might have come in contact with the kitten, but none was found to have been exposed.
There is a large colony of feral cats that lives in the area where the kitten was found, but Swanton said there is no indication the kitten interacted with other animals.
The post-exposure vaccination series is typically a two-week regimen in which four doses of rabies vaccine are administered in the upper arm and a dose of human rabies immune globulin is administered around the site of a bite and the hips or thighs, the City of Waco said in a press release Tuesday.
Rabies can be transmitted only through a bite or if a rabid animal's saliva comes into contact with fresh wounds or the eyes, nostrils or lips, the city said.
"This incident serves as a reminder to avoid handling stray animals and possible litter-mates," Swanton said.
The kitten was infected with a skunk strain of rabies, Swanton said, which suggests there were rabid skunks in the area where it was found.