LIBERTY — A Liberty woman has been exposed to rabies after she was bitten by a kitten, said the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the PCSO, the department received a request for assistance from a Liberty resident in the area of Black Bottom Road after she was bitten on the finger by a young kitten.
“A deputy from the Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Unit responded out to the residence on Sept. 07, 2018, at which time the homeowner advised that a skunk had previously come onto the property and killed several cats and kittens,” PCSO Chief Deputy Creed Hashe stated. “The skunk later died on her property.”
Hashe said several days passed and the homeowner was attempting to handle one of the surviving kittens after noticing that it appeared to have difficulty in maintaining its balance.
“As she was in contact with the kitten, it started to act violently and bit the woman on her finger breaking the skin,” he said.
DHEC stated the kitten was captured and taken to the Pickens County Animal Shelter where it was euthanized and forwarded to the agency for testing.
This week the Sheriff’s Office was notified by DHEC that the animal did test positive for rabies, Hashe confirmed.
“The homeowner was immediately notified and she proceeded to receive the prescribed treatment for potential exposure to the disease,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Office has stated they are not aware of any other danger to the community since the skunk is no longer alive and no longer roaming the area.
They also said the kitten did not appear to have any visible wounds from the skunk; however, transmission of rabies can often occur from animals that have access to the same food or water bowls.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone that observes any wild animal that is acting strange or appears to be suffering from an unknown illness to avoid contact if at all possible and to use extreme caution with personal pets until they have been examined by a veterinarian.
DHEC states if you are bitten or scratched by a wild, stray or unvaccinated animal you should care for the wound properly and contact your health care provider.
The health care provider is required to report the incident to DHEC, they said.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.