Multiple people treated for rabies in Gwinnett County after being bit by rabid kitten

The kitten bit and scratched a vet tech and two other people.
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 10:54 PM EDT
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Sunny Hill Road in Lawrenceville contains some nice neighborhoods, but one of those neighborhoods is also where Gwinnett County’s latest rabies case was found.

This time, the animal bit people.

In the area near 2100 Sunny Hill Rd., two people rescued a kitten and ran into a dangerous problem.

“When they vaccinated it, it actually bit one of the vet techs and then scratched both owners,” said Gwinnett County Special Operations Manager Kristina Amaro.

Amaro said that’s not unusual for a cat at the vet, but the next morning brought a scary twist.

“They took it home, and the next day they found the kitten deceased,” Amaro said.

Soon after, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare discovered the kitten had rabies. Apparently, it was missed during the vet visit.

“It’s unusual that it went unnoticed,” she said.

The symptoms are usually obvious: seizures, foaming at the mouth, and weakness are some of the most common.

Now, the two people who brought the kitten to the vet will have to undergo a course of rabies shots.

“The closer the bite or scratch wound is to the head, the quicker it’s going to accelerate and start showing signs and symptoms,” Amaro said.

The Gwinnett County Health Department recommends starting the shots immediately but did not provide the status of the three people bitten and scratched.

However, they provided information on dealing with wildlife, including stray cats.

“Just make sure that people are not touching animals they’re not familiar with,” Amaro said.