Call your local environmental health office or medical care provider if you came into contact with a stray kitten at the Riverstone Parkway Starbucks between Feb. 22 and March 1
Today, Cherokee County Environmental Health officials announced that the gray-striped kitten with medium-length fur tested positive for rabies.
"A variety of people in Cherokee County" handled the kitten prior to its death, North Georgia Health District spokeswoman Jennifer King said.
A young woman who works at a Canton veterinary office picked it up on March 1 at the Riverstone Starbucks, where it had been touched by an unspecified number of people.
The woman took the kitten to her Canton home and several more people were exposed to it, King said.
Last Friday, the woman took the kitten to work. A battery of tests suggested the kitten was in seemingly good health. But by 1 p.m. Sunday, the kitten was dead.
A veterinarian at the woman's office had taken it to her Lumpkin County home the previous day and been bitten twice. The kitten, King said, was frightened by the vet's dogs.
Cherokee Environmental Health officials learned of the positive rabies test results on Wednesday from the Georgia Public Health Lab. It was also revealed that a raccoon attacked a package delivery driver carrier in the same area approximately two months ago. The raccoon's status is not known and the case is under investigation.
"It is not known at this time the specific number of people who are being treated for rabies exposure," King said. "However, those who are will receive an immediate dose of immunoglobulin and then a series of rabies shots over a period of 14 days."
For more rabies prevention information, call the Cherokee County Environmental Health Office at 770-479-0444. Click here for additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Click on the PDF on this page for additional details.