Philadelphia Health Department officials have confirmed a case of rabies in a stray kitten adopted from the wild by a family in the Parkwood Manor section of the Far Northeast. The case is the first involving rabies in a domestic pet in three years.
Department spokesman Jeff Moran yesterday said that the kitten bit several people during efforts to nurse it back to health. The animal was turned in to the Philadelphia SPCA, where it was euthanized and tested for rabies.
When the test came up positive, the department's Division of Disease Control referred those bitten for preventive treatment, a series of inoculations. Workers will be checking the area where the kitten was found to make sure there are no other rabid animals, Moran said.
The city's last confirmed cases of rabies in pets were a dog and cat in 2005. In 2007, officials confirmed four cases of rabies in wild animals - a bat, a groundhog, a deer and a raccoon.