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Rabid cat found in Conway

By Lisa Burnett

This article was published December 17, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed that a cat found Friday on the grounds of the Conway Human Development Center tested positive for rabies.

Rabies is a virus that attacks the brain and spinal cord and is a fatal disease, the Arkansas Department of Health's website states.

Susan Weinstein, state public health veterinarian, said there have been 130 positive cases of rabies in Arkansas this year. She noted the average for the past 22 years has been 47 cases.

For 2012, the state has had 101 skunks, 22 bats, two cows, three dogs, one horse and now one cat test positive for the virus. State law requires all domestic cats and dogs 4 months old and older to be vaccinated for rabies by a veterinarian.

Weinstein said rabies is most often found in wild skunks and bats in Arkansas, and it is transmitted through a bite. There aren't any concerns about the residents of the center in this case, Weinstein said.

The Conway Human Development Center is located at 150 E. Siebenmorgan Road in Conway and is across the street from Hendrix College, where feral cats have been a problem in the past. Weinstein said a campus-wide e-mail was sent out to warn students about the rabid cat that was found.

More information can be found on the Arkansas Department of Health's website.

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