Two people were bitten by a rabid stray cat south of Newark, officials said.
The victims, who have both started treatment for rabies exposure, came in contact with the cat in the area of Four Seasons Parkway, off Del. 896, according to Jennifer Brestel, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Division of Public Health.
The cat was acting lethargic and had wounds of an unknown origin. The cat’s body was tested for rabies, and DPH learned it tested positive April 29, Brestel said.
Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten or scratched by or come in contact with a stray cat in this area should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7.
Anyone in the area who thinks a feral cat might have bitten their pet should call their private veterinarian for examination and treatment.
Rabies is fatal to humans if not treated before symptoms appear. In 2018, a Felton woman became the first Delawarean to die of rabies in 80 years.
Since Jan. 1, DPH has performed rabies tests on 44 animals, and the cat involved in the incident in Newark was the only to test positive.
In 2020, DPH performed rabies tests on 121 animals, four of which were confirmed to be rabid, including one raccoon, one bat, and two cats.
The last time a rabid animal bit someone in Newark was 2019, when a 41-year-old man was bitten by a raccoon while getting into his truck in Arbour Park.