Rabies case reported in St. Helena

Sheriff Nathaniel “Nat” Williams was advised of a case of rabies in the area on Thursday, July 12. A cat in the south end of the parish near Pine Grove tested positive for rabies. It is believed that the cat may have been bitten by a raccoon or bat. Dr. Gary Balsamo, State Public Health Veterinarian, confirmed that a St. Helena resident has been treated for the disease and that tissue samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “With the CDC’s assistance, the goal is to determine which variant of the disease the cat had. We are also contacting others who may have been in contact with the cat,” Balsamo said.

The Louisiana Department of Health also notified the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) about this rabies case. Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said Louisiana law requires pets to be vaccinated for rabies. “Rabies is a potentially deadly disease and this incident is very concerning.

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