The Loudoun County Health Department is encouraging anyone who may have come into contact with a rabid cat and/or its kittens outside of a local shopping and restaurant area to contact their health care provider or the Health Department as soon as possible. The warning comes after at least five individuals came into contact with a cat that later tested positive for rabies.
The exposures occurred this week in the vicinity of the Chick-fil-A and Red Robin restaurants on Yukon Drive in Ashburn, as well as the Shoppes at Ryan Park on Greenway Corporate Drive that includes a Giant grocery store.
The rabid cat was a gray/brown tabby with white markings and was demonstrating abnormal aggression and experiencing tremors when it came into contact with people. The cat was seen with three kittens – two light orange and one dark gray with white markings – that were also in the area. Anyone who may have visited the shopping center between July 31 and August 10, 2023, and came into contact with the cat or kittens should contact their health care provider or the Loudoun County Health Department at 571-233-7317 or by email.
Loudoun County Animal Services (LCAS) is investigating the shopping area for any additional animals that may have been exposed to the rabid cat. Anyone may report animals that are seen behaving irregularly or aggressively to LCAS’ Humane Law Enforcement Division at 703-777-0406 or 703-777-1021 after hours. Additional information is posted on the LCAS website.
Rabies is a virus that is spread through the saliva of infected animals, typically through a bite or saliva-contaminated scratch. Residents are encouraged to avoid contact with unattended animals to minimize the risk of bites or disease. Seeking evaluation and potential medical care for exposure to animals with rabies as soon as possible is very important because rabies is a fatal disease if treatment is not begun before the start of symptoms. More information on rabies is posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at cdc.gov/rabies.
# # #